Genus name: Gambusia Affinis
Also known as: Gambusia
Distribution: Southeastern United States, Texas and Northern Mexico
Length: up to 1.6″ (4cm)
Minimum Tank Length: 24″ (60cm)
Water Temperature: 64-68F (18-20C)
Diet: Worms, crustaceans, insects, dried food, plant matter
Water: not critical
There are two subspecies of the Mosquito Fish, one which comes from Texas, the other very similar one comes from Northern Mexico and the Southeastern United States. Both subspecies of the Mosquito Fish are brown or olive-brown, and the underparts are silvery. The flanks are grey with delicate bluish iridescence and are sometimes marked with brown dots on the Texan variety, whilst the Mosquito Fish from Mexico has irregular black markings.
As the name suggests, in the wild Mosquito Fish feed on the larvae and pupal stages of mosquitos, and have an upward-pointing mouth which assists with this.
Although quite small in size, Mosquito Fish are aggressive and are well-known for nipping the fins of other fish, so it is better to keep them in a species aquarium.
The male and the female Mosquito Fish are similar, although the male has the gonopodium which is seen on many livebearers, and the female Mosquito Fish has a larger anal fin.
In an aquarium the Mosquito Fish will breed all year round. The female reaches sexual maturity in under eight weeks, and she can produce up to sixty live young after a gestation period of six to eight weeks. Mosquito Fish do not make good parents, and are apt to eat their own young.