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Eastern Mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki


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Eastern Mosquitofish
credit: Hunter Desportes/CCSA

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Family: Poecilidae, Livebearers view all from this family

Description The eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, is a species of freshwater fish that is closely related to the western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis. It is a member of the family Poeciliidae of order Cyprinodontiformes. It is native to the eastern and southern United States, and grows to 3.5 cm in length.

Gambusia holbrooki is found in the southeastern United States and has become an invasive species in Australia, where they were released as a method to decrease mosquito populations. G. holbrooki is considered a planktivorous species which consumes algae and detritus to enhance its dietary requirements. Feeding habits seem to change based on maturity and mating season. This species thrives in shallow water between 31 and 35° Celsius, and seems to be able to acclimate to temperatures above and below this. G. holbrooki has been shown to survive in water with pH and chemical levels known to kill other fish species, and prefers to live in areas where the water flows at a slow pace, is clear and without free floating plant life, and seeks shelter in rooted plants.[1

Dimensions Up to 1 1/4" (3.5 cm).

Habitat Rivers & streams, Lakes & ponds, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes.

Range Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida.

Discussion This species is not considered an endangered or threatened species in America because they are able to withstand temperature change, chemical change, and pH change fairly easily. This mitigates many of the problems caused by humans, the biggest of which is its introduction to nonnative areas, such as Australia.