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Biology

Dominant breeding males aggressively defend individual territories, which females enter when ready to spawn (4). Gila topminnows are able to mate all year round where the water temperature is constant, but in waters that are subject to seasonal temperature fluctuations, the breeding season is concentrated in the spring and summer period (7). Females typically give birth to 10 to 15 live young per brood, depending upon the fluctuating habitat conditions and size of the adults, with larger broods produced during the summer (4) (8). Females often carry two broods at a time, one at a far more advanced stage of development than the other (4). Additionally, females are capable of storing sperm for later fertilisation of eggs, and can produce up to ten broods after separation from males (4) (7) (9). The life-span of this fish is around one year, but it appears to be linked to the age at sexual maturation, which is dependent upon the time of year in which individuals are born (4). Those born in warmer waters in summer can reach sexual maturity in as little as six weeks, although it may take up to 11 months for others (4) (9) (7). This omnivorous fish has a wide-ranging diet, consisting of bottom debris, vegetable matter and small crustaceans (3). This species will also voraciously feed on aquatic insect larvae, especially mosquitoes, when abundant (3) (4).

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Source: ARKive

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