American bullhead catfish were introduced to New Zealand in 1877. They now occur in the lower Waikato River, Lake Taupō, and Lake Māhinapua on the West Coast. In 1997 they were found in Kaituna Lagoon near Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere), and in 2003 in a stream flowing into the Hokianga Harbour. They are bottom-feeding carnivores and scavengers, and use their barbels to find prey. They have no legal classification.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Glenn Maclean
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