Expansion of the non-native Mississippi Silverside, Menidia audens (Pisces, Atherinopsidae), into fresh and marine waters of coastal southern California
Swift, Camm C.
Pondella , Daniel Keegan, Thomas P.
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Abstract--Mississippi Silversides, Menidia audens, were first recorded in southern California reservoirs and nearby outflows in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1997-2000 they were taken in King Harbor, Redondo Beach,and in 2000 in the Santa Ana River. By 2005-2006 they were found in several other coastal drainages from the San Gabriel River in Orange and Los Angeles counties northward to Arroyo Burro, Santa Barbara County. Initial invasion was via the California Aqueduct in the late 1980s and early 1990s and more recently dispersal has taken place along the southern California coast. The records from King Harbor occurred for a relatively short period, mid-1997-mid-2000 (mostly 1997 and 1998) before they were established in coastal drainages. Their impact on native species is not known but on some occasions Mississippi Silversides have outnumbered native Topsmelt, Atherinops affinis, in small coastal lagoons estuaries. Mississippi Silversides are known to prey on eggs and larvae of other fishes and could be increasing predation on small native animals as well as serving as prey for larger piscivores like steelhead and terns. .