Jawad L.A., Qasim A.M. 2019. Neotropical piranha, Serrasalmus maculatus (Actinopterygii: Characiformes: Serrasalmidae), in the Tigris River, Baghdad, Iraq—a case of deliberate introduction by the aquarium trade. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 49 (2): 199–201.
Fifteen specimens (four females and eleven males) of the speckled piranha, Serrasalmus maculatus Kner, 1858, native to South America, were captured in the Tigris River at Al-Taji, 17 km north of the City of Baghdad, Iraq. They represent the first record for this species in Iraq and were captured on 1 February 2018 by anglers, using a hook and line. We suspect that the aquarium trade is accountable for the introduction of this species into Iraq. Moreover, a new maximum size was also recorded based on the specimens examined. The gonads were dissected for a microscopic examination to determine the gender and the state of maturity. The reproductive state suggests that the population of S. maculatus has established itself in the area and is reproducing. An efficient system needs to be put in place to screen the introduction of fishes in order to identify potentially harmful species before their release to the aquarium market.
speckled piranha, Iraq, Tigris River, new record, new maximum length