Mosquito Fish

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Related to Mosquito Fish: Western Mosquitofish

Mosquito Fish


(Gambusia affinis holbrooki), a fish of the family Poecilidae, order of cyprodonts. In the male the front spines of the anal fin have become a copulatory organ, the gonopodium. Length of the male, up to 4 cm; weight, up to 0.4 gm. Length of the female, up to 7 cm; weight, up to 3.5 gm.

The mosquito fish is viviparous; there may be up to six broods annually at one month intervals. The number of young per brood ranges from 15 to over 100; their body length is 7-8 mm. Sexual maturity is reached at one month. The mosquito fish lives in small bodies of stagnant water and feeds on the larvae and nymphs of mosquitoes, small water animals, roe, and even its own offspring. Its natural habitat is North America.

The mosquito fish was introduced into the USSR in 1925 by the physician N. P. Rukhadze. After successful acclimatization, it was used extensively and with great success in the battle against malaria in the 1930’s and 1940’s in the Central Asian Republics, the southern RSFSR, and the Ukraine. The mosquito fish can cause damage in fishing grounds.


Sokolov, N. P. Gambuzii i ikh rol’ v bor’be s maliariei. Tashkent 1939.
Ivanov, I. K. Ryby-gambuzii i ikh rol’ v bor’be s maliariei vKazakhstan. Alma-Ata, 1950.


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Mosquito larva thrive in stagnant or unmoving water while the mosquito fish is hardy and can survive even in highly polluted water.
An assessment of the introduced mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis holbrooki) as a predator of eggs, hatchlings and tadpoles of native and non-native anurans.
Mosquito fish were obtained every 2 weeks from a local aquarium store; fed daily; and maintained in a 50-gallon aerated, fresh-water tank.
If your garden is in a tub or a small planter, however, only smaller fish such as mosquito fish or guppies will do.
Regulars like Cote have hooked up with small bull sharks, jacks and largemouth bass, but this time of the year when the summer rains generate a good current and a solid forage base of mosquito fish and freshwater shiners, most anglers are looking for tarpon.
Theresa Mundita Lim, director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), said "further and intentional release of the mosquito fish into the waterways may bring more serious implications and irreversible damage to our already fragile biodiversity.
The guppy Poecilia reticulata Peters and mosquito fish Gambusia affinis (Baird and Girard) have long been promoted for biological control of mosquitoes and their success has been documented on many instances (1-4).
Predators, information, group-ups and even games all have their place in studies of animal personality, including the mosquito fish research that inspired the office fish simulation.
Ashley Ward and James Herbert-Read from the University of Sydney presented mosquito fish with a choice to swim down one of two arms in a Y-shaped channel.
The predatory efficacy of native crimson-spotted rainbow fish Melanotaenia duboulayi (Melanotaeniidae), Australian smelt Retropinna semoni (Retropinnadae), Pacific blue-eye Pseudomugil signifer (Atherinidae), firetail gudgeon Hyposeleotris galii (Eleotridae), empire gudgeon Hypseleotris compressa (Eleotridae), and estuary perchlet Ambassis marianus (Ambassidae) was compared with that of the exotic eastern mosquito fish Gambusia holbrooki (Poeciliidae).
p Around 90% of the world's malaria cases occur in Africa p Some countries have established programmes to introduce mosquito fish to infested waters which reduce the insect population that spreads malaria p The introduction of nets placed over beds, sprayed with strong insecticide,has helped to reduce childhood deaths p The worst type of parasite is the Plasmodium falciparum which kills around 1% to 2% of those infected p Other strains of the disease cause debilitating chills,fever and weakness lasting 10 to 14days