Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Oriental Weatherfish (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus), native to Southeast Asia, are freshwater fish belonging to the family Cobitidae (loaches). They are benthic fish with the ability to breathe atmospheric air, and exhibit an unusual behavior of swimming vertically in the water column in response to changes in barometric pressure. Oriental Weatherfish appear to be successful invaders to North American waterways. Within the last century they have been sighted in freshwater systems throughout the United States, yet the distribution and source of this invasion are largely unknown. This study investigates the distribution patterns, surveying methods, and population genetics of the Oriental Weatherfish within Illinois and Indiana waterways. These data were collected in 2013 and 2014 and supplemented with publically available data to provide the most up-to-date map of the current distribution in Illinois (IL) and Indiana (IN). Catch rates were calculated and compared across gear types and sampling sites to assess different survey methods. Sequence data from cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and the control region (D-Loop) were compared among specimens collected from multiple sites throughout IL and IN with those available on GenBank. Results from this study suggest a single introduction to IL and IN before 1987, with a subsequent range expansion. This study is the first to genetically examine this weatherfish population. Data suggest that the population is genetically identical to the weatherfish introduced into Australia before 1984, and that these populations were derived from the same native population in Asia.
Belcik, John, "Population Genetics and Distribution of the Oriental Weatherfish, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, in Chicago Area Waterways" (2017). Master's Theses. 3556.
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