bitterling

bitterling

[bit-er-ling]
noun
a cyprinid fish, Rhodeus sericeus, found in central and eastern Europe, the female of which has a long, bright yellow or red ovipositor to deposit eggs in the mantle cavity of mussels.

Origin:
1875–80; < German, equivalent to bitter bitter + -ling -ling1

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World English Dictionary
bitterling (ˈbɪtəlɪŋ)
 
n
a small brightly coloured European freshwater cyprinid fish, Rhodeus sericeus: a popular aquarium fish
 
[C19: from German; see bitter + -ling1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

bitterling

(Rhodeus), any of several small, carplike fish of the family Cyprinidae noted for their unusual manner of breeding. Native to clear, stony streams of central and southern Europe, the bitterling is a silvery fish of little economic value, about 5 to 7.5 centimetres (2 to 3 inches) long. It spawns between April and June. At this time, the male develops an orange belly and reddish fins, while the female develops a long, tubular ovipositor, which inserts into the incurrent respiratory siphon of a freshwater clam or mussel and by which she deposits her eggs in the gill chamber of the mollusk. There, they are fertilized by sperm ejected by the nearby male and drawn by the mollusk into the gill chamber along with water for respiration.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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