Q:

What is the name for fish that live in both salt and fresh water?

A:

Species of fish that are able to live in both salt and fresh water are called euryhaline fish. Most species of fish are only able to handle one environment or the other, and this is based on their tolerance for salinity, which is how much salt their bodies can handle.

There are two types of euryhaline species, both of which are able to handle migrating back and forth between saltwater and freshwater.

Anadromous euryhaline fish are born in freshwater environments, but they spend most of their time in saltwater. Fish like salmon, smelt, shad, striped bass and sturgeon spend their lives in the sea, and they only return to freshwater to spawn. Catadromous euryhaline fish generally live in freshwater, but they go out to saltwater in order to spawn. North American eels and European eels are examples of catadromous fish.

When euryhaline fish transition from one salinity environment to the other, it takes them time to adjust. The fish undergo an acclimation period that allows them to adjust to the differences between the salinity concentrations of their bodies and their surroundings.

The word "euryhaline" comes from the Greek words "eurus," meaning "wide," and "halinos," meaning "of salt."

The opposite of euryhaline fish are stenohaline fish, which are those that can only survive within a narrow range of salinities.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long do angelfish live?

    A:

    In captivity, freshwater angelfish typically live eight to 10 years, but they can survive for up to 15 years. Their hardiness and longevity makes them a popular fish in home aquariums.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can you tell the difference between a male and female blue catfish?

    A:

    The gender of male and female blue catfish can be determined by the distinctive humps that appear on the backs of the males between the dorsal fins and the head. The females are more streamlined and can reach any size, but the males start developing these distinctive humps once they reach 10 pounds. The males also have more rounded heads.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do fish urinate?

    A:

    Fish do urinate. It may be hard to tell that fish pee, because they live underwater, but if a tank starts to smell like ammonia after not being cleaned for a while, this is actually because fish do urinate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a pike cichlid?

    A:

    The pike cichlid is a torpedo-shaped fish that reaches approximately 7 inches in length. This fish is popular for use in aquariums. It can live for about 10 years with proper care.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore