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December 16, 2011
Devil Fish tell it took the ecosystem of Infiernillo in Michoacan, where he lives with no problems. It is one of the first places in Mexico was detected.
In South America, where it originated, is known as Pleco, but Mexican fishermen and researchers had no problem finding a new name.
"Who is able to survive in Hell? For the Devil, and hence the particular name given," he told BBC Ernesto Velazquez, director of the School of Biology, University of Science and Arts of Chiapas (UNICACH ).
But beyond the story, the truth is that the fish, whose scientific name is Hypostomus Plecostomus, has become a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems in southeastern Mexico, as recognized experts and authorities.
In rivers, lakes and dams in the country the fish behaves like Diablo, as it has no natural predators has displaced native species, representing a serious risk not only the ecology but also for the survival of thousands of fishermen, insists Velázquez.
"Only in Chiapas believe that there are millions of copies," he says. "If we do something immediately in 5 or 10 years will be set and then going to be very difficult to eradicate."
In this state the Plecostomus is found in several dams and rivers, but the biggest risk was detected in the biosphere reserve of Montes Azules, a site with more diversity in the country.
Like other invasive species, the Fish Devil came to Mexico with the so-called "Nemo effect," referring to the Disney movie: Amateur breeding of ornamental fish imported from South America to take advantage of some of their skills.
The species usually feeds on algae and food waste, for which many call "limpiapeceras." The problem is that, growing up, many people leave them in rivers or lakes and cause it to spread.
The first copies were detected in 2003 in the north, but now the government's National Commission of Biodiversity (CONABIO) recognizes its presence in central states, west and southwest.
The Plecostomus Hypostomus easily adapts, explains UNICACH's academic, because unlike other species is "highly paternalistic", ie, care to survive most of the eggs that the female deposits.
This custom is also a risk. The Devil Fish jealously guards its territory, preventing other species spawn.
Also, look for food in the bed of rivers and lakes, and often also consume the eggs of other fish such as catfish and tilapia. So, in short, only surviving offspring of Plecostomus.
An additional factor is that their natural predator, the crocodile, lives only in some regions.
And the man, his main enemy, is also absent: the Devil Fish is not in the Mexican diet, as happens in South America.
The Plecostomus is a species with high nutritional value, and its flesh is very tasty, explains Ernesto Velázquez. But at least in Mexico, its appearance has allowed him to escape from the kitchen.
It is usually dark brown patches develop a few copies. The scales are hard and the contract form a strong shield.
It also has thick fins and spines on its back, which often damages the fishing nets. So they called Devil Fish.
Interestingly, experts see as a pest species, but also as an alternative to economic problems and food for many people.
"Some people think to use it to make fish meal and feed cattle," explains the researcher Velázquez, while others have adapted South American recipes for cooking fish Diablo with Mexican flavor.
Publicado por Nadir Sosa en 3:45:00 AM