Fears held for 'Fishzilla' arriving on Australia's doorstep | News.com.au (external - login to view)
A SAVAGE predator known as "Fishzilla" and a perch capable of climbing trees could soon reach the far north of Queensland.
Snakehead fish, native to tropical Africa and Asia, have an appetite for blood and can grow to a metre long, The Cairns Post said today.
The fish are a declared pest in Queensland (as a precautionary measure to prevent importation) but researchers fear that snakehead, found on the southern coast of Papua New Guinea, might be brought to the Torres Strait, from where they could reach mainland Australia.
Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research director Damien Burrows said there was a danger that snakehead and other pest fish species such as the predatory climbing perch posed a big threat to native Australian wildlife.
"There are a whole bunch of fish that are now on the southern coast of New Guinea, directly adjacent to Saibai Island and Torres Strait, which are even worse than climbing perch," he said.
The stars of a horror movie trilogy, snakehead fish are known to eat water birds, snakes and rodents.
They can live in poor environmental conditions, helped by their ability to breathe air - and in some cases, walk on land.
Climbing perch can travel across land on their pectoral fins and, as their name suggests, may even climb trees.
Burrows said that snakehead and climbing perch could both easily reach Queensland's Cape York peninsula.
Tree Climbing Fish huh? That have a taste for blood?
Sure don't look like something I'd like to have drop from a tree onto my head during a picnic.