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Rhodeus is a genus of cyprinid fish, consisting of 22 species called bitterlings. The scientific name is derived from the Greek word rhodeos, meaning "rose". Most species in the genus are restricted to Asia, but two species are found in Europe (R. amarus and R. meridionalis). Bitterlings are short-lived species, generally surviving only about five years. Their maximum size is 11 cm, but they are usually much shorter. Bitterlings inhabit slow-flowing or still waters, such as ponds, lakes, marshes, muddy and sandy pools, and river backwaters. Because they depend on freshwater mussels to reproduce, their range is restricted. Bitterlings are omnivorous, feeding on both invertebrates and plants. Bitterlings have a remarkable reproduction strategy where parents transfer responsibility for the care of their young to various species of freshwater mussels (Unionidae and Margaritiferidae). The female extends her long ovipositor into the mantle cavity of the mussel and deposits her eggs between the gill filaments. The male then ejects his sperm into the mussel's inhalent water current and fertilization takes place within the gills of the host. The same female may use a number of mussels, and she deposits only one or two yellow, oval eggs into each. Early developmental stages are protected from predation within the body of the mussel. After 3 to 4 weeks, larvae swim away from the hosts to continue life on their own. In 1936, the bitterling was thought to respond to hormones in a pregnant woman's urine, but the work was later discredited.[1][2] Species[edit] This genus and Acheilognathus have a convoluted taxonomic history, one being at times included in the other. They are now considered separate, but some species formerly in Rhodeus are now in Acheilognathus. There are currently 21 recognized species in this genus:

Rhodeus albomarginatus F. Li & R. Arai, 2014 [3] Rhodeus amarus Bloch, 1782 (European bitterling) Rhodeus amurensis Vronsky, 1967 Rhodeus atremius D. S. Jordan & W. F. Thompson, 1914 (Kyushu bitterling) Rhodeus colchicus Bogutskaya & Komlev, 2001 (Georgian bitterling) Rhodeus fangi C. P. Miao, 1934 Rhodeus haradai R. Arai, N. Suzuki & S. C. Shen, 1990 Rhodeus laoensis Kottelat, A. Doi & Musikasinthorn, 1998 Rhodeus meridionalis S. L. Karaman, 1924 Rhodeus monguonensis G. L. Li, 1989 Rhodeus ocellatus Kner, 1866 (Rosy bitterling) Rhodeus pseudosericeus R. Arai, S. R. Jeon & Ueda, 2001 Rhodeus rheinardti Tirant, 1883 Rhodeus sciosemus D. S. Jordan & W. F. Thompson, 1914 Rhodeus sericeus Pallas, 1776 (Amur bitterling) Rhodeus shitaiensis F. Li & R. Arai, 2011 Rhodeus sinensis Günther, 1868 (Light's bitterling) Rhodeus smithii Regan, 1908 Rhodeus spinalis Ōshima, 1926 Rhodeus suigensis T. Mori, 1935 Rhodeus uyekii T. Mori, 1935

References[edit]

^ "Deceptive Bitterling". Time. October 12, 1936. Retrieved 2008-04-16. Not quite two years ago physicians and prospective parents welcomed the news that a small, carp-like fish could tell whether or not a woman was going to have a baby ... The bitterling lost her standing and the doe rabbit and mouse were reinstated as nature's best indicators of human pregnancy. But obstetricians Kanter and Klawans pursued the matter with another research mate, physiologist Broda Otto Barnes, and secured further results which they detailed in Science last week.  ^ Barnes, B. O.; Kanter, A. E.; Klawans, A. H. (1936). "Bitterling Ovipositor Lengthening Produced By Adrenal Extracts". Science. 84 (2179): 310. doi:10.1126/science.84.2179.310-a. PMID 17837041.  ^ Li, F.; Arai, R. (2014). "Rhodeus albomarginatus, a new bitterling (Teleostei: Cyprinidae: Acheilognathinae) from China". Zootaxa. 3790 (1): 165–176. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3790.1.7. 

Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rhodeus.

 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bitterling". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 13, 14.  https://web.archive.org/web/20080821071303/http://fisc.er.usgs.gov/Carp_ID/html/rhodeus_sericeus.html McMillan, Donald B. (2007). "1.1 Introduction". Fish Histology: Female Reproductive Systems. Springer. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4020-5715-1. 

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q345772 ADW: Rhodeus EoL: 24366 EPPO: 1RODEG Fauna Europaea: 304516 Fossilworks: 209494 GBIF: 2360802 ITIS: 163606 NCBI: 5

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