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Ninespine Stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)

The Ninespine Stickleback or Pungitius pungitius is a small freshwater fish from the Gasterosteidae family that can grow to about 3" in length.  Despite its name, the Ninespine Stickleback can have anywhere from 8 to 12 spines along its back. While they are normally brown in color, the male of this species will become black during the courtship and spawning periods which occur from April to July.  The male will guard and build the nest until the fry are hatched.  You can check out a similar species the Three-spined Stickleback building a nest in the video below.     

This species of Stickleback is found in North America, China, Japan and Northern Europe in fresh and brackish waters.  Rivers and lakes with heavy weeds are a favorite habitat for these fish.  Ninespine Stickleback fish will feed on invertebrates, aquatic insects and larvae.  They fall prey to larger fish and some predatory birds.

If you have any additional information about the Ninespine Stickleback please leave us a comment below.  

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