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Heterandria formosa
Dwarf Livebearer, Least Killifish, Mosquitofish, Dwarf Top Minnow

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Dwarf Livebearer - Heterandria formosa

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Heterandria_formosa_2.jpg (20kb)
Heterandria formosa fry
Photo Credit: Debbie

UPDATE: The pair produced fry, so I decided to set them up in a planted tank. I used a 40 L with 2 WPG and Hagen CO2. They are doing well. There are approximately 15-20 now (hard to count-they love the cover and the fry are so tiny! I also have 8 pygmy cories in their tank. The original female is still there. She is much much larger than any of the others and the offspring are running 3 to 1 in favor of females. By the time they are large enough to sex I am wondering if the larger males are responsible for the lack of male offspring growing up. There seems to be plenty of room considering their size, but of course not as much room as they would have in the wild. I love them and find them fascinating. The large female seems constantly pregnant and it is always a surprise as it seems there is always a new baby or two to discover almost every day.

Contributed by Debbie

I also caught some of these tiny fish with a net in Southern Louisiana. I had no idea what they were at the time and had no idea that they were a livebearing species (until I put a few in my aquarium). I had a small 40 L set up for my new finds to observe them and what not. After watching how they lived for several days I was convinced I wanted more, and since they lived less than a mile from me I made the walk to the pond. I netted dozens of them and they all lived wonderfully in the tank. When it came time to feed them, it was amazing watching the frenzy. I kept only this species with itself, and nothing else. They did great for a while, until I went on a trip and the light was somehow left on. Most of them were dead when I returned home. A great fish to have and watch.

Contributed by James Circello

Mosquitofish THRIVE in my pond. It's cool to watch them dart around near the surface in groups. You can get them for next to nothing. I've heard that the government gives them out for free, so they will eat mosquito larvae and thus lower the amount of West Nile Virus effected mosquitos.

Contributed by CCS

The term mosquito fish is commonly used to refer to all little fish found in bodies of water in southern USA regions. The lesser killie fish is not the same species as the one the government gives out to control the mosquito populations. The lesser killie fish and the mosquito fish are both native to Florida and other southern states. The species that you may be referring to is actually Gambusia affinis as resembles a female guppy in size and shape, but lack the colorful markings and are much more aggressive than guppies; schools of these fish are commonly seen in schools near the water surface. Lesser killie fish are rarely visible in ponds (although they may be very abundant) because of their small size and timid behaviors.

Contributed by Jenny Szilagyi

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