Re: NANFA-- RE: Mosquito fish

Jay DeLong (
Fri, 05 Jan 2001 09:07:08 -0800

Hi Henry.
>Gambusia are given the name "Mosquito Fish" because they are introduced into
>steams and other bodies of water to control the mosquito population. They
>eat mosquito larvae and therefor that reduces the population of mosquitoes
>in the area.

Unfortunately they only do a mediocre job of mosquito control. People and
agencies introduce them based on their common name, not the other way
around. I'm guessing that's why BG is upset about the common
name. Besides, Gambusia are responsible for an array of environmental
problems resulting from unwise stocking for supposed mosquito control, such
as eating tadpoles and competing with native fishes and amphibians for
food. There's a paper on the redlegged tree frog of California where the
authors blame introduced mosquitofish on the decline of this rare
species. I have that paper if anyone wants a copy.

>I disagree with you that H. formosa should be named "mosquito fish". Even
>though they maybe be very small the name "Least" Killifish suits them just

But they aren't a killifish either :-) as pointed out by Bob Muller and

>I already have trouble enough with telling people about my Pygmy
>Killies because they think I mean Least Killies (they are very different
>from each other). Introducing the name Mosquito Fish to Least Killifish will
>just confuse people more. Please do me (or us) a favor and please not call
>Least Killes "Mosquito Fish".

How about not calling any fish a mosquito fish because doing so only gives
mosquito control agencies a reason to think exotic fish introductions are
good and they're able to convince the public they are doing a "natural" thing.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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