Gambusia affinis

Common Name: Minnow

Range: In North Carolina, its range is statewide.

Common size: 1-2 inches

Food Habits: The food habits include mosquito larvae and a variety of other insects, microcrustaceans and some plant material.

Spawning: This small fish is a member of the livebearer family with the female giving birth from 10 to 300 live young. Its gestation period ranges from 21 to 28ays. Internal fertilization of the eggs is accomplished via a special groove near the anal fin of the males. The female maintains sperm in a specialized sac, which allows for the production of multiple broods from a single mating event. The internal hatching of the eggs requires 21 – 28 days of incubation. The number of young that a female can produce ranges from a few to several hundred.

Miscellaneous: Mosquito fish are found in fresh, brackish and even salt waters and are extremely tolerant to poor water quality. They are generally the first fish to be observed in new ponds. In spite of its small size, the mosquito fish is of economic importance because it feeds on the larvae and pupae of mosquitoes. Is important forage for sunfish and young black bass and is used extensively in studies on pesticide resistance and cancer research experiments.