Opsanus beta: an invasive fish species in the Santos estuary, Brazil


  • Acácio Ribeiro Gomes TOMÁS Scientific Researcher. Laboratório de Estudos Estuarinos, Centro APTA Pescado Marinho, Instituto de Pesca
  • Sergio Luiz dos Santos TUTUI Scientific Researcher. Laboratório de Estudos Estuarinos, Centro APTA Pescado Marinho, Instituto de Pesca
  • Lucio FAGUNDES Scientific Researcher. Laboratório de Estudos Estuarinos, Centro APTA Pescado Marinho, Instituto de Pesca http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8305-9299
  • Marcelo Ricardo de SOUZA Scientific Researcher. Laboratório de Estudos Estuarinos, Centro APTA Pescado Marinho, Instituto de Pesca http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4302-0709


bioinvasion, ballast water, exotic species, Batrachoididae


A non-indigenous fish species, Opsanus beta, was found during an ichthyofauna sampling program in Santos Estuary. Common on the western coast of Florida and the Caribbean, the most probable source of this occurrence is due to ballast water from the ships. The 140 specimens reported (18 to 323 mm TL; 8 to 442 g WT) were caught in fish baited traps (215.28 ± 5.95 mm TL; 207.36 ± 16.42 g WT; 25.7% of the total caught), otter-trawls (213.97 ± 5.87 mm TL and 194.92 ± 11.31 g; 54.3%) and gillnets (226.93 ± 5.40 mm TL and 218.14 ± 17.01 g; 20.0%). Of 81 specimens sexed, 43.6% of females (n = 55) and 92.0% of males (n = 24) have mature gonads. Santos estuarine areas are very similar to the O. beta original environment, and allied to the absence of natural predators, and its environmental plasticity, projecting it as a well adapted species in region, which must be viewed as a potential serious implication to other Brazilian estuarine systems.


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