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Re: NFC: western mosquito fish?

There was a big discussion on Gambusia affinis lately on the livebearer list.
The following is a few excerpts from the discussion.

"I'm sure your confusion stems from the fact that in the majority of hobby
references the species complex was treated as G. affinis, which
scientifically included three subspecies: affinis, holbrooki and speciosa.
Hobby texts rarely used the all-important subspecies designation.

To my knowledge the scientific literature exclusively says that the
black-spotting occurs in G. holbrooki (aka G. affinis holbrooki).

    Jim Langhammer"

"Hi Jim,

as far as I know Rauchenberger said these were three species, not only


"I agree totally and you have previously provided Rauchenberger's reference to
the list-members. I was only pointing out to William that to achieve greatest
accuracy in communication, references between 1948 (when Krumholz made the
three populations into subspecies of G. affinis sensu latu) and 1988
(Rauchenberger's paper) should have included the subspecific designations
that were in use during that period of time . In other words it is erroneous
to assume that all historical references to "G. affinis" are in fact to G.
affinis affinis.

As often happens in taxonomy, Rauchenberger in 1988 only reinstated the full
species status that Girard had originally given the three populations back in
the 1850's!

    Jim Langhammer"

So what I get from this is there are three Gambusia that were possibly used for
mosquito control;  holbrooki, affinis, and speciosa.  I guess the question then
becomes, which is the Gambusia you are looking for.  I know affinis has been
introduced into Australia for mosquito control (called Damnbusia down there for
good reason).  And considering that at some point in their history they were
basically considered one species, could mean that any of the above species got
used as 'the mosquito fish'.  Draw whatever conclusions you like from the above
information. :)


Kristine Weisbrod Massin wrote:

> Does anyone know if the western mosquito fish that keeps popping up in my
> searches as being native to Colorado is the same much-reviled gambusia
> mosquito fish that has been introduced everywhere to control mosquitos (yes,
> robert, I know it doesn't do such a hot job :) )
> thanks,
> kris
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