Understanding the ecological differences between native and invasive species is of considerable scientific and practical interest. We examined such differences between native and invasive inland fish species from the Iberian Peninsula in order to analyse the importance of phylogenetic correction and variability (in addition to central tendency). We collected 26 quantitative and qualitative variables on the ecology, life-history traits and human use of the 69 inland fish species of the Iberian Peninsula, including native, invasive and migratory species. The taxonomic distribution of invasive fish species deviated significantly from world freshwater richness and in contrast to native species, invasive fish belongs to only five taxonomic orders but to a wide spectrum of families not native to the Iberian Peninsula. Because the life-history traits were highly dependent on taxonomy, the results, with or without applying phylogenetic methods, differed and after accounting for phylogeny, invasive species displayed higher and wider latitude in general and a different reproductive season mainly among salmonids and cyprinids. Human use was also significantly different between native and invasive fish species and produced more variability in life-history traits of invasive species and uneven taxonomic distribution because of the high diversity of species introduced. We show that accounting for taxonomy and studying variability in addition to central tendency is important in the comparison of life-history traits between native and invasive species.