Zebrafish live in freshwater streams and rivers but are more often considered floodplain species. They are most often found in shallow, slow-moving water near the edge of streams or in ditches. Because of monsoon season in their native geographic range, zebrafish have adapted to a broad range of temperatures, from 6 degrees C during winter to 38 degrees C in summer. Rice cultivation by humans has had a significant impact on zebrafish habitat. Rice farming requires damming of waterways and creation of irrigation systems. Since rice farming is common in India, many natural habitats of zebrafish have been dramatically altered by damming and irrigation. Fortunately, zebrafish are relatively tolerant of human disturbance and are able to survive and reproduce well in altered habitats.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; freshwater
Aquatic Biomes: rivers and streams
Other Habitat Features: agricultural
- Engeszer, R., L. Patterson, A. Rao, D. Parichy. 2007. Zebrafish in the Wild: A Review of Natural History and New Notes from the Field. Zebrafish, 4: 21-40.