Due to the Pet Industry and irresponsible pet owners, the State of Florida is being overrun by exotic and invasive species of all types. Thankfully, our native wildlife sometimes helps in controlling the spread of these invasive species.
Case in point, today west of the Viera Wetlands, I spotted a Great Blue Heron that had captured a non-native catfish.
This fish is a "Plecostomus". Hypostomus plecostomus, the suckermouth catfish or common pleco, is a tropical fish belonging to the armored catfish family (Loricariidae). This species' native range is tropical South America. They are large algae eaters, and are extremely popular in aquaria for their ability to clean tanks by eating algae growth and dead fish. They can grow to 24 inches in length.
I have been told that Turkey Creek in Palm Bay is completely overrun with them.
The male suckermouth catfish dig holes on the banks of canals and rivers where the females lay eggs, and the male then guards the nest. Those nests can be seen in the canal banks when the water level drops. I'll bet you may have seen them not knowing what they were. Information on the nests and photos can be seen in this PDF file: el.erdc.usace.army.mil/elpubs/pdf/ansrp-v09-1.pdf