Freshwater Fishes

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Trichogaster leerii.jpg

Trichogaster leerii, Pearl Gourami. Neil Hepworth

The Fishes: A Snapshot

Of all living vertebrates, the fishes make up more than half of the approximately 55,000 known animal species.

An estimated 1,761 species are collected or bred for freshwater aquarium keepers. Of these, 720 or about 40% are primarily supplied by aquaculturists rather than wild harvest.

Freshwater and brackishwater fish species make up about 43% of all recognized fish species.

  • Number of Fish Species: 27,977
  • Number of Freshwater & Brackishwater Species: 11,952
  • Number of Fish Families: 515
  • Number of Fish Genera: 4,494

Sources: Fishbase and Joseph S. Nelson, Fishes of the World, 2006.

Extreme Fishes

  • The smallest known freshwater fish (and smallest of all vertebrates) is the recently discovered Paedocypris progenetica, a tiny minnow (Cyprinidae) from the peat bogs of Sumatra. Adults are about the size of a mosquito, 7.9–10 mm (.3–.39 in.).
  • The largest freshwater fish species, by weight, is believed to be the Giant Mekong Catfish (Pangasius gigas) of Southeast Asia. A record specimen caught in 2005 weighed in at 646 lbs. (293 kg) and 9 ft. (2.74 m) long. The longest freshwater species recorded, at more than 15 ft (4.6 m) is the South American Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas).
  • More Fish Facts & Trivia
  • Megafishes Project Tracks Freshwater Giants
  • Flap Over Fishes

Freshwater Fishes

Freshwater BioGroups Fishes families:

 Freshwater Fishes

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: NH
Text credit: AQG