Dizzykipper's picture

Small fish

Observed: 11th December 2011 By: Dizzykipper
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
IMGP0520
IMGP0517
IMGP0519
Description:

Small fish found in pond in wildlife area. Approx 6cm in length. I thought initially that it was a stickleback but it doesn't appear to have any spines.
Any help with ID would be appreciated :-)

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Dizzykipper's picture

Hi! Thanks for the suggestion

Hi! Thanks for the suggestion :-)
I had thought about minnow but minnows I have seen in the past have been much more silvery in colour, and more slender than this fish, even though it is the right size length-wise.
Also, don't minnows prefer flowing water? This one was found in a pond, amongst quite a bit of pond weed.
I really don't know, as the only experience I have of small fish is from catching them in childhood - what made you suggest minnow? Any help is really appreciated :-)

Refugee's picture

Old times

They did stay alive in still water after they were taken home in my childhood days.
They are also quite common. I was also sure that sticklebacks were found in flowing water only.

Refugee

Syrphus's picture

Not sure at all about S'backs

Not sure at all about S'backs being only in flowing water. I have seen 3-spines often in ponds with next to no flow, and they are regular in the sea off W Scotland. They form a very complex group behaviourally - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-spined_stickleback for some ideas.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

Dizzykipper's picture

I had the opposite

I had the opposite experience! Had 2 stickle banks (unimaginatively called Sammy and Sally!) living in a tank for many years, and also some in a small pond, but minnows never survived once I'd caught them from the stream.
Mind you, this is a fairly still pond, but of a medium size and has an inlet and outlet, so some water flow, even if only slow, so you could well be right with minnow.
I didn't think it would be hard to identify a small fish but I appear to be having trouble!
Thanks for helping :-)

Dizzykipper's picture

Hi Chrisbrooks! I thought the

Hi Chrisbrooks!
I thought the colouring and fins looked liked stickleback but I have to be honest and say I couldn't see any signs of spines. I was doing a study on invertebrates though, not fish, and caught 2 of these at the same time, so didn't give them the attention I should have done! Wish I had done now, and would better be able to ID them.
Do sticklebacks ever lay their spines flat, I wonder, or do younger ones not have them?
Any way, thanks for your help, and thanks to Refugee too - always nice to have a think about things I don't know and chat about them
:-)

chrisbrooks's picture

Sticklebacks

I believe that their spines can lay flat, hopefully an expert will help us out.

Dizzykipper's picture

Thanks for the info Syrphus

Thanks for the info Syrphus :-)
I had no idea that sticklebacks were so complex, or that they have a variation that is found in salt water!!
I love iSpot for learning something new :-)

Syrphus's picture

I was pretty gobsmacked when

I was pretty gobsmacked when I saw my first marine 3-spines, and tried for a long time to turn them into something else. Since taking up sea-kayaking I see them regularly, often in large numbers.

Glad to be of help!

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

jonmortin's picture

In image 2 you can just about

In image 2 you can just about see some spines lying flat. My fish book has sticklebacks in ponds but minnows in fast flowing streams. Also the fin shape and positioning seems to match Stickleback best and maybe 9 spined more than 3 spined?

jonmortin's picture

I am now wondering whether

I am now wondering whether image 1 is a 9-spined Stickleback and image 2 a 3-spined Stickleback, in which case it would be an idea to post as 2 observations!

Dizzykipper's picture

Thanks for your help too,

Thanks for your help too, jonmortin :-)
The 2 pictures are of the same fish, honestly, even though they may look a bit different! I caught 2 but the other one was smaller and I caught this one out of the bowl I'd put them in first. As they looked to be the same species I didn't want to stress them both by chasing them around trying to catch them, so only took pictures of this one, tipping it on it's side a little to get a sideways view. Maybe it is a 9-spined one, and I just didn't notice the spines were lying down -?
I used to keep 3-spined ones when I was young but don't know much about 9-spined. I think I may have 1 more picture, I'll see if I can add it. :-)

Refugee's picture

Fin shape

The fin is shorter to allow space for the spines. I did not realize that they could retract there spines that far.

Refugee

chrisbrooks's picture

Stickleback

That's a better image, confirmed as 9 spined, do you agree? Sorry forget mt last, looking at wrong image.