Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in seasonal pools and streams (Ref. 3788). Used for biological control of mosquitoes. Quite popular with aquarists. One of the so called 'annual fishes' which has eggs that can withstand seasonal droughts (Ref. 1739). Bottom spawner, 3-4 months incubation. Difficult to maintain in an aquarium (Ref. 27139).
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Distribution

Range Description

Endemic to Zanzibar (Wildekamp 1981).
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Africa: endemic to the island of Zanzibar, eastern Tanzania.
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Zanzibar.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 68 mm TL
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Max. size

5.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 27139)); 6.3 cm TL (female)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Temporary pools, swamps, ditches and small streams (Wildekamp et al. 1986).

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; non-migratory; freshwater; pH range: 6.0 - 7.0; dH range: 4 - 10
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Diseases and Parasites

Costia Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Bassleer, G. 1997 Color guide of tropical fish diseases: on freshwater fish. Bassleer Biofish, Westmeerbeek, Belgium. 272 p. (Ref. 41805)
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Bacterial Infections (general). Bacterial diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 1997 Color guide of tropical fish diseases: on freshwater fish. Bassleer Biofish, Westmeerbeek, Belgium. 272 p. (Ref. 41805)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Thrives in seasonal rainwater pools. Spawns throughout the short breeding period until the pool dries up and all fish die except their drought-resistant eggs. Eggs go through a dry period of many weeks. When rain comes and pool fills, most of the eggs begin to develop and hatch within hours. Fry grow very fast. In only 6 to 8 weeks they are sexually mature and start breeding (Ref. 7062). In aquaria, males showed aggressive behavior toward each other. Females were being pushed down to the substratum by the males as a prelude to spawning.
  • Balon, E.K. 1990 Epigenesis of an epigeneticist: the development of some alternative concepts on the early ontogeny and evolution of fishes. Guelph Ichthyol. Rev. 1:1-48. (Ref. 7471)
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 2.3 years (captivity) Observations: These animals show a gradual ageing process and live on average one year in captivity. One male lived 2.3 years. Animals that mature later tend to live longer (Markofsky and Perlmutter 1972). An increasing mortality with age and numerous age-related changes have been described in these animals (Genade et al. 2005).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Hanssens, M. & Snoeks, J.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Programme)

Contributor/s

Justification
Recorded from several localities on Zanzibar. With no major widespread threats the species is considered as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
No information available.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
No information available.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No information available.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott 1991 World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p. (Ref. 4537)
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Wikipedia

Redtail notho

The redtail notho (Nothobranchius guentheri) is a species of fish in the Aplocheilidae family. It is endemic to Tanzania. Its natural habitats are intermittent rivers and intermittent freshwater marshes. The redtail notho eats mosquito larvae and other planktonic creatures. Scientists are looking at introducing the species elsewhere in Africa to help with malaria prevention. As with other "peat spawner" killifish, pairs or small groups spawn by repeatedly pushing into the substrate and releasing and fertilising a single egg. During the dry season when the temporary pools of water the fish inhabit dry up and the adult fish perish, specially adapted proteins in the chorion of the eggs are triggered to retain moisture, thereby ensuring the next generation of fish last until the rains return and the fry can hatch. This species is sometimes encountered in the aquarium trade. Eggs have a dry incubation of between 8 and 12 weeks, but most hatch after 9 weeks.

References[edit]

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