Understanding the potential distribution of non-native species can be an important tool in preventing biological invasions. We recorded for the first time Psellogrammus kennedyi, a small non-native characiform, in the Lower Paranapanema River, Brazil. According to environmental variables and prediction modeling, the species presents high potential distribution in the Upper Paraná river basin. The model used herein is an efficient tool to determine where non-native species may be able to establish. This approach can be used as a preventive measure, once the control and eradication measures are often ineffective and uneconomical.