(Gambusia holbrooki)

A picture of a mosquitofish
A mosquitofish. They’re pretty small in real life!

This fish is occasionally captured during our seventh grade seine hauls at King’s Landing.  This is a species that prefers calm, shallow water environments with plenty of SAV in which they can hide.  The Mosquitofish can serve as food for almost any larger fish that lives in freshwater.  Also known as a Topminnow, the Mosquitofish spends a great deal of time at the surface where it will feed on the mosquito larvae that congregate there.

Mosquitofish are related to the “guppies” that are commonly sold in pet stores.  In some parts of the world the Mosquitofish is considered a pest where it has been introduced by humans to help to control mosquito populations.  The Mosquitofish outcompete some of the native species in places like New Zealand and Australia.  The Mosquitofish is the only live-bearing fish species to occur in the Chesapeake Bay region, all other species are egg-layers.

A graph of mosquitofish caught from 1997-2015
A graph of mosquitofish caught from 1997-2015