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WILD Facts: Mosquito control with fins
Mosquito fish - photo by Photo provided.
Native to the Southeast but stocked elsewhere, mosquitofish are also known by their genus name, Gambusia. These live-bearing fish resemble guppies, with males and females only reaching 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 inches long, respectively. To protect themselves from larger fish, mosquitofish hide in vegetation along pond edges.
In these same areas, pesky mosquitoes lay eggs that hatch out into tiny, worm-like larvae.  Surviving larvae turn into flying mosquitoes, but most get gobbled up before reaching adulthood. True to its name, one mosquitofish eats hundreds of larvae each day. A decrease in mosquito numbers means fewer itchy bites and fewer West Nile Virus cases.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.
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