Brown Hoplo


A hardy callichthyid catfish native to South America.  It has been introduced to Florida waters and is now ubiquitous in the state.  Like most callichthyid catfishes, it can breathe both through its gills and through its intestines by swallowing air.  These fishes build a nest of bubbles at the water surface to lay their eggs in. This is a very good adaptation for fishes that live in swampy environments.


The Brown Hoplo is a highly esteemed food fish in its native range. Because of its desirability as a food fish, cast-net fishermen have begun targeting this abundant fish for commercial sale. This may have resulted in the spread of this fish as fishermen attempted to establish profitable cast-net fisheries by moving the fish into uncolonized water bodies.



Main Species Image: 
Brown Hoplo - Hoplosternum littoral
Range Map: 
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Remarks: A small commercial and recreational castnet fishery for H. littorale has commenced in Florida, which is a popular food fish in its native range. Part of the species' rapid expansion throughout peninsular Florida may have resulted from illegal movement by castnet fishermen to enhance local fisheries (Gestring et al. 2009)

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