Most abundant in lower reaches of streams (Ref. 44091). Adults inhabit standing to slow-flowing water; most common in vegetated ponds and lakes, backwaters and quiet pools of streams. Found frequently in brackish water (Ref. 5258). Feed on zooplankton, small insects and detritus (Ref. 5258, 10294). Used as live food for carnivorous aquarium fishes. Viviparous (Ref. 5258, 30578). Effective in mosquito control and widely introduced, but found to compete with indigenous fish and to upset the ecological balance (Ref. 6351).