Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Cyprinodontiformes > Poeciliidae > Gambusia > Gambusia affinis

Gambusia affinis (Live-bearing tooth-carp; Mosquito fish; Mosquitofish; Mosquito-fish; Topminnow; Western mosquitofish)

Synonyms: Fundulus inurus; Gambusia affinis affinis; Gambusia affinis katruelis; Gambusia gracilis; Gambusia humilis; Gambusia patruelis; Haplochilus melanops; Heterandria affinis; Heterandria patruelis; Zygonectes brachypterus; Zygonectes gracilis; Zygonectes inurus; Zygonectes patruelis
Language: Albanian; Cantonese; Danish; Finnish; French; German; Greek; Italian; Japanese; Mandarin Chinese; Marathi; Polish; Romanian; Russian; Spanish; Swedish; Tagalog

Wikipedia Abstract

The western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) is a species of freshwater fish, also known commonly, if ambiguously, as simply mosquitofish or by its generic name, Gambusia, or by the common name gambezi. There is also an eastern mosquitofish (G. holbrooki).
View Wikipedia Record: Gambusia affinis

Invasive Species

Gambusia affinis is a small fish native to the fresh waters of the eastern and southern United States. It has become a pest in many waterways around the world following initial introductions early last century as a biological control agent for mosquitoes. In general, it is considered to be no more effective than native predators of mosquitoes. The highly predatory mosquito fish eats the eggs of economically desirable fish and preys on and endangers rare indigenous fish and invertebrate species. Mosquito fish are difficult to eliminate once established, so the best way to reduce their effects is to control their further spread. One of the main avenues of spread is continued, intentional release by mosquito-control agencies. G. affinis is closely related to he eastern mosquito fish (G. holbrooki), which was formerly classed as a sub-species. Their appearance, behaviour and impacts are almost identical, and they can therefore be treated the same when it comes to management techniques. Records of G. affinis in Australia actually refer to G. holbrooki.
View ISSG Record: Gambusia affinis


Female Maturity [1]  90 days
Male Maturity [4]  90 days
Diet [3]  Planktivore, Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Adult Length [1]  1.6 inches (4 cm)
Brood Dispersal [1]  On/In self
Brood Guarder [2]  Yes
Litter Size [1]  315
Maximum Longevity [1]  3 years
Migration [2]  Potamodromous


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Bonneville United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Cantabric Coast - Languedoc France, Spain Palearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Central & Western Europe Austria, Belgium, Byelarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom Palearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Central Prairie United States Nearctic Temperate Upland Rivers    
Colorado Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Columbia Glaciated Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Upland Rivers    
Columbia Unglaciated United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Death Valley United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
East Texas Gulf United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Gila Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Guzman - Samalayuca Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Hawaiian Islands United States Oceania Oceanic Islands    
Italian Peninsula & Islands France, Italy, Malta, Monaco Palearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Lahontan United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Laurentian Great Lakes Canada, United States Nearctic Large Lakes    
Middle Missouri United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Oregon & Northern California Coastal United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Puerto Rico - Virgin Islands United Kingdom, United States Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Coastal Rivers    
Sacramento - San Joaquin United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Southern California Coastal - Baja California Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Teays - Old Ohio United States Nearctic Temperate Upland Rivers    
Upper Mississippi United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Upper Rio Grande - Bravo Mexico, United States Nearctic Temperate Upland Rivers    
US Southern Plains United States Nearctic Temperate Upland Rivers    
Vegas - Virgin United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Banff National Park II 1690912 Alberta, Canada
Big Thicket Biosphere Reserve National Park II 616880 Texas, United States
Canaveral National Seashore II 9090 Florida, United States
Canyonlands National Park II 335430 Utah, United States
Cape Lookout National Seashore II 18379 North Carolina, United States
Carl Sandburg Home National Hist. Site National Historic Site III 271 North Carolina, United States
Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve 310228 North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, United States      
Central Gulf Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 40530 United States  
Chickasaw National Recreation Area V 7025 Oklahoma, United States
Colonial National Historic Park National Historical Park V 9316 Virginia, United States
Congaree Swamp National Park II 6095 South Carolina, United States
Cosumnes River Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve Ia 2138 California, United States
Cumberland Island National Seashore II 20629 Georgia, United States
Death Valley National Park II 762125 California, Nevada, United States
Fort Pulaski National Monument V 4213 Georgia, United States
George WA Carver National Monument V 210 Missouri, United States
George Washington Memorial Parkway V   Virginia, United States
Golden Gate National Recreation Area V 26135 California, United States
Grampians National Park II 416373 Victoria, Australia
Great Smoky Mountains National Park II 515454 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States
Hattah-Kulkyne NP and Murray-Kulkyne Park National Park II 122831 Victoria, Australia
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park V 1926 Alabama, United States
Jean Lafitte National Hist. Park & Preserve National Historical Park II 17686 Louisiana, United States
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge VI 28351 Louisiana, United States
Land Between the Lakes Biosphere Reserve V 166264 Kentucky, Tennessee, United States
Little River National Wildlife Refuge   Oklahoma, United States
Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve 5901 California, United States  
New Jersey Pinelands Biosphere Reserve   New Jersey, United States  
Nipomo Dunes Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve Ia 3725 California, United States
Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park 20001 Tennessee, United States
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge IV 38256 Florida, United States
Point Reyes National Seashore II 27068 California, United States
Prespa National Park II 62043 Greece  
Reserva de la Biosfera de Doñana Biosphere Reserve II 123801 Spain
Riverland Biosphere Reserve Ia 1490891 South Australia, Australia
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park VI 854 Texas, United States
San Francisco Peninsular Watershed County Wildlife Refuge or Management Area 30320 California, United States  
San Joaquin Biosphere Reserve 4527 California, United States  
South Atlantic Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 20317 South Carolina, United States  
Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve 37548505 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States  
Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary IV 51099 Maharashtra, India  
Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area Wildlife Refuge   California, United States

Prey / Diet

Boiga dendrophila (Gold-ringed Cat Snake, Mangrove Snake)[5]
Daphnia magna (Giant water flea)[5]
Daphnia pulex (Water flea)[5]
Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus[5]
Gambusia affinis (Live-bearing tooth-carp)[5]
Poeciliopsis occidentalis (Gila topminnow)[5]
Sigara arguta (Water boatman)[6]
Tenagomysis chiltoni[6]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Anguilla australis (Shortfin eel)2
Gobiomorphus cotidianus (Common bully)1
Retropinna retropinna (Smelt)1


Anguilla australis (Shortfin eel)[5]
Ardea cinerea (Grey Heron)[7]
Biziura lobata (Musk Duck)[8]
Cichla ocellaris (Tucunare)[5]
Doryteuthis opalescens (california market squid)[5]
Doryteuthis pleii (arrow squid)[9]
Egretta thula (Snowy Egret)[5]
Fundulus grandis (Gulf killifish)[5]
Gambusia affinis (Live-bearing tooth-carp)[5]
Ixobrychus dubius (Black-backed Bittern)[8]
Micropogonias undulatus (Atlantic croacker)[5]
Micropterus salmoides (Northern largemouth bass)[5]
Morone saxatilis (Striper bass)[5]
Mycteria americana (Wood Stork)[5]
Platalea flavipes (Yellow-billed Spoonbill)[8]
Quiscalus major (Boat-tailed Grackle)[5]
Tachybaptus novaehollandiae (Australasian Grebe)[8]


Parasitized by 
Acanthocephalus anguillae[10]
Ascocotyle ampullacea <Unverified Name>[10]
Ascocotyle mcintoshi[10]
Bothriocephalus opsariichthydis <Unverified Name>[10]
Centrocestus cuspidatus <Unverified Name>[10]
Centrocestus formosanus <Unverified Name>[10]
Clinostomum complanatum[10]
Dioctophyme renale[10]
Diplostomulum scheuringi <Unverified Name>[10]
Diplostomum hupehensis <Unverified Name>[10]
Diplostomum niedashui <Unverified Name>[10]
Diplostomum rutili[10]
Echinochasmus bagulai <Unverified Name>[10]
Echinochasmus donaldsoni[10]
Gyrodactylus gambusae <Unverified Name>[10]
Haplorchis pleurolophocerca <Unverified Name>[10]
Haplorchis taichui[10]
Lacistorhynchus tenuis[10]
Macroderoides spiniferus <Unverified Name>[10]
Octospiniferoides chandleri[10]
Opegaster anguillii <Unverified Name>[10]
Polymorphus brevis[10]
Prototransversotrema steeri[10]
Rhabdochona canadensis <Unverified Name>[10]
Rhabdochona kidderi <Unverified Name>[10]
Salsuginus seculus[10]
Schyzocotyle acheilognathi[10]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Cameron Park Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Dallas Zoo
Fort Worth Zoological Park
Jackson Zoological Park
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Nat'l Zoological Gardens of S. Africa
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquar
Santa Ana Zoo
Zoo Zürich

Range Map

Afghanistan; Africa-Inland Waters; Albania; America, North - Inland waters; America, South - Inland waters; American Samoa; Amudar'ya; Argentina; Armenia; Asia - Inland waters; Australia; Australian; Balsas river; Bangladesh; Bolivia; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Canada; Central African Republic; Chile; China; Comoros; Cook Islands; Côte d'Ivoire; Danube; East Timor; Egypt; Erhjen River; Ethiopian; Europe - Inland waters; Fiji Islands; Former USSR - Inland waters; France; French Polynesia; Georgia; Ghana; Greece; Guam; Hawaii (USA); Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kaoping River; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kiribati; Lake Waccamaw; Lao People's Dem. Rep.; Madagascar; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia,Fed.States of; Mississippi; Missouri; Morocco; Myanmar; Nearctic; New Zealand; North Marianas; North and Central America: Mississippi River basin from central Indiana and Illinois in USA south to Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Slope drainages west to Mexico. One of the species with the widest range of introductions which acquired for itself a near pan-g; North and Central America: Mississippi River basin from central Indiana and Illinois in USA south to Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Slope drainages west to Mexico. One of the species with the widest range of introductions which acquired for itself a near pan-global distribution (Ref. 1739). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.; Oceania - Inland waters; Oriental; Pakistan; Palearctic; Papua New Guinea; Peng-hu Island; Peru; Philippines; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Rio Grande; Rodriguez; Romania; Russian Federation; Samoa; Serbia and Montenegro; Singapore; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tahiti; Taiwan; Tana River; Thailand; Turkey; USA (contiguous states); Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Xi Jiang River; Zambezi; Zambia; Zimbabwe;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
2Grenouillet, G. & Schmidt-Kloiber., A.; 2006; Fish Indicator Database. Euro-limpacs project, Workpackage 7 - Indicators of ecosystem health, Task 4,, version 5.0 (accessed on July 3, 2012).
3Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
6Relationship between turbidity and fish diets in Lakes Waahi and Whangape, New Zealand, John W. Hayes & Martin J. Rutledge, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 25:3, 297-304
7Seasonal diet of the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea on an oceanic island (Tenerife, Canary Islands): indirect interaction with wild seed plants, Airam RODRÍGUEZ, Beneharo RODRÍGUEZ, Beatriz RUMEU & Manuel NOGALES, ACTA ORNITHOLOGICA Vol. 42 (2007) No. 1
8del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
9CephBase - Cephalopod (Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish and Nautilus) Database
10Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access