Ponds and Lakes Animals

Class: Fishes: 4 classes Diet: Small invertebrates
Order: Cypriniformes: Carps
Size: 6 - 9 cm (2 1/4 - 3 1/2 in)
Family: No Fish family information Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Rhodeus sericeus Habitat: lakes, ponds, slow rivers
Range: Northern and Eastern Europe: Northern France, Germany, east to Black and Caspian Sea basin; introduced in North America

Size of the BitterlingThe attractively colored bitterling is a small, rather deep-bodied fish. It lives in densely vegetated areas and can tolerate poorly oxygenated water. It feeds on plants and small invertebrate animals.  The breeding habits of the bitterling are most unusual. The female develops a long egg-depositing tube that extends from her genital opening. Using this tube, she lays her eggs inside the gill chamber of a freshwater mussel. The male, who develops brilliant, iridescent coloration in the breeding season, sheds his sperm by the mussel's gills so that it is inhaled by the mussel and fertilizes the eggs. Safe from predators, the eggs develop inside the mussel for 2 or 3 weeks, and the young leave it about 2 days after hatching. The mussel is unharmed by this invasion.

Range of the Bitterling
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