One of my friends from school brought in some fish from his backyard pond to show the class. They were western mosquitofish.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These small, dull looking fish grow to about 7 cm long as a female and 4 cm long as a male.
- They get their names because they eat mosquito larvae in large numbers.
- Western mosquitofish are very fast breeders as they give birth to about 60 babies at once (they don’t lay eggs), can breed more than once per year and can start breeding at a very young age of only a couple of months old.
- They are a very tough fish and can survive in shallow water with low oxygen and high salt content that would kill most other fish.
- Native to the states of Illinois and Indiana down to northern Mexico, the western mosquitofish has been introduced to many parts of the world to help bring down the numbers of mosquitoes. They are considered heroes in parts pf South America, Ukraine and southern Russia where they have been responsible for getting rid of malaria. The Russian city of Sochi has a statue of them. However, in Australia they are a pest that destroys local freshwater fish and frog populations and has a very limited effect on the numbers of mosquitoes.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about western mosquitofish?