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Killifish

- Noun

Any one of several small American cyprinodont fishes of the genus Fundulus and allied genera. They live equally well in fresh and brackish water, or even in the sea. They are usually striped or barred with black. Called also minnow, and brook fish. See Minnow.


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  • Killifish

    A killifish is any of various oviparous (egg-laying) cyprinodontiform fish (including families Aplocheilidae, Cyprinodontidae, Fundulidae, Profundulidae and Valenciidae ). All together, there are some 1270 species of killifish, the biggest family being Rivulidae, containing more than 320 species. As an adaptation to living in ephemeral waters, the eggs of most killifish can survive periods of partial dehydration. Many of the species rely on such a diapause, since the eggs would not survive more than a few weeks if entirely submerged in water. Like seeds, the eggs can be sent by mail without water. The adults of some species, such as Kryptolebias marmoratus , can additionally survive out of the water for several weeks. Most killies are small fish, from one to two inches (2.5 to 5 cm), with the largest species growing to just under six inches (15 cm).

  • Banded killifish

    Banded killifish

    The banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) is a North American species of temperate freshwater killifish belonging to the genus Fundulus of the family Fundulidae. Its natural geographic range extends from Newfoundland to South Carolina, and west to Minnesota, including the Great Lakes drainages. This species is the only freshwater killifish found in the northeastern United States. While it is primarily a freshwater species, it can occasionally be found in brackish water.

  • Rainwater killifish

    Rainwater killifish

    The rainwater killifish (Lucania parva) is a small silvery fish with yellow flashes and diamond shaped scales that is widespread from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, through to Tampico, Mexico. It is commonly found in large numbers in fresh to brackish estuarine environments. A wholly unremarkable fish, it feeds on tiny crustaceans, mosquito larvae, small worms, and mollusks. Maximum size: 62 mm.

  • Ceylon killifish

    The Ceylon killifish (Aplocheilus dayi) is a species of killifish endemic to Sri Lanka. This species grows to a length of 9 cm (3.5 in). Males and females have a black dot at the rear end of the base of the dorsal fin. The females lay 50–150 eggs. The specific name of this fish honours the Inspector-General of Fisheries in India Francis Day (1829-1889), who first reported this fish, although he identified it as Aplocheilus panchax .

  • Striped killifish

    Striped killifish

    The striped killifish (Fundulus majalis), also called the striped mummichog, is a North American species of fundulid killifish. It lives in salt and brackish waters in shallow coastal regions from New Hampshire to Florida, and in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

  • Waccamaw killifish

    Waccamaw killifish

    The Waccamaw killifish (Fundulus waccamensis) is a species of fish in the Fundulidae family. It is endemic to Lake Waccamaw, a lake in North Carolina, United States, and its tributaries.

  • Guinean killifish

    The Guinean killifish (Archiaphyosemion guineense) is a species of African rivuline killifish from the family Nothobranchiidae native to the African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where it is found in savanna streams and pools. This species grows to a length of 7 cm (2.8 in). It is found in the aquarium trade, where it has a reputation as being a difficult fish to keep.

  • California killifish

    California killifish

    The California killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis) is a type of killifish (Fundulidae ) found along the coast of southern California and Baja California.

  • Tanganyika killifish

    Tanganyika killifish

    The Tanganyika killifish (Lamprichthys tanganicanus) is a species of poeciliid endemic to Lake Tanganyika, where it forms large schools, mainly close to rocky shores but also pelagically off shore. This species grows to a length of 15 centimetres (5.9 in) SL. It is an egglayer with external fertilization, and deposits its eggs in narrow crevices. It is fished commercially for food, and also for the aquarium trade.

  • Mediterranean killifish

    Mediterranean killifish

    The Mediterranean killifish or South European toothcarp (Aphanius fasciatus) is a species of fish in the Cyprinodontidae family. It is found in Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Montenegro, Slovenia, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Its natural habitats are saline lakes, saline marshes, and coastal saline lagoons.

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