Life history and population dynamics of the western mosquitofish: a comparison of natural and introduced populations


  • J. L. Haynes,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762
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    • Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199.

  • R. C. Cashner

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, U.S.A.
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Life history and population dynamic patterns of Gambusia affinis in southeastern Louisiana varied spatially and temporally in 1990 and 1991, but were consistent with previous reports of this species in the southern regions of its natural range. Several differences exist among populations in different geographic regions within the United States, as reported in the literature, which do not follow a‘ native v. introduced’ dichotomy: (1) brood size decreases and offspring size increases from north to south; (2) large overwintered females in northern areas produce more broods within a season than those in southern populations, while the reverse is true for young-of–year females; (3) minimum size at first reproduction follows a seasonal pattern within populations, but tends to be smaller in southern and larger in northern and Hawaiian populations; (4) synchronous reproduction early in the season is characteristic of northern populations, but does not occur in southern areas; and (5) mosquitofish reproduce year–round in Hawaii, while 'southern’ populations within the continental U.S. cease reproduction during winter.