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Mosquitofish (Gambusia Affinis)

The Mosquitofish or Gambusia affinis can eat its body weight in mosquito larve in a single day! For this reason they are one of the most important fish in the world. Also known as Gambusia this fish's ability to keep mosquito populations in check helps prevent nasty diseases like the West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever and Malaria. Mosquitofish are often used in small ponds to keep Mosquitos and other insect larvae at bay and with the recently rise in foreclosures places have even been using these fish in abandoned pools.

As you can tell Mosquitofish are extremely hard to kill. They can withstand low oxygen levels, salt levels and high temperatures! This amazing adaptability makes the Mosquitofish one of the most far reaching fish in the world. To learn more about the Mosquitofish check out this video...

There are two types of Mosquitofish, the Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) and the Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). They are both quite small the females reaching only 2-1/2" and the males 1-/2". These fish are grey with a mouth that is permanently pointed upwards to feed off the water's surface. Mosquitofish can reproduce quickly with a female reaching sexual maturity in under 9 weeks. They can produce almost 100 young at a time! Even though they only live to about 4 years maximum, they manage to multiply and take over places that they are introduced to. The numbers suggest that they can expand from 7,000 to 120,000 in just five months! As you can imagine these species can easily become an invasive species, but their uncanny ability to eliminate Mosquitos still makes them a popular fish! They are even often kept in an aquarium setting!


Izzy said...

This is a really interesting site, but I need to clear something up about Gambusia sp.. Scientists have done studies on their ability to control mosquito populations; Gambusia sp. has been shown to have no effect on mosquito populations. They can also harm local fish populations due to their high fecundity.
REF: Kottelat, M. and T. Whitten. 1996. Freshwater biodiversity in Asia, with special reference to fish. World Bank Tech. Pap. 343:59 p.

But they are cute little fish to have in an aquarium. Very hardy and entertaining to watch.

Anonymous said...

I am positive I've seen fish like that before, do they sell them at "Pet Smart"? I Might have even considered that fish for my tank!
Izzy, I can't help but agreeing on the mosquito population and the harm to other fish.
If you want to know who I am, Barreleyes. I've commented on this website a LOT, but it's just that good for my studies.

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