The Natural History of Model Organisms: Nothobranchius furzeri, an 'instant' fish from an ephemeral habitat

  1. Martin Reichard  Is a corresponding author
  2. Matej Polačik
  1. Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
2 figures


Turquoise killifish phenotypes and their distribution.

(A) Map of N. furzeri distribution across its entire range overlaid on a gradient of aridity (wet to dry: blue to red) and with the proportion of male colour morphs visualised by pie charts and the geographic distribution of intra-specific clades delineated by black lines. (B) Adult yellow morph male, (C) red morph male, and (D) female N. furzeri. (E) Embryo at diapause II, representing the longest interval of its lifespan in natural habitats. (F) Embryo at diapause III, fully developed and awaiting hatching cues. (G) Simplified schematic phylogeny of the Southern clade of Nothobranchius, with details on N. furzeri intra-specific lineages (simplified from Bartáková et al., 2015). Image credits: Martin Reichard (1A, 1G), Radim Blažek (1B–1D), Matej Polačik (1E, 1F).
Turquoise killifish habitats.

(A) A structurally simple habitat one week after filling with water. (B) The same habitat three weeks after filling, fully desiccated. (C) Domestic cattle that commonly visits killifish habitats. (D) Turbid water from a structurally simple killifish habitat discoloured by dissolved fine sediment particles. (E) A structurally complex habitat with abundant aquatic vegetation. (F) Desiccated pool sediment, with typical deep cracks. Image credits: Milan Vrtílek (2A, 2B), Martin Reichard (2C, 2E, 2F), Matej Polačik (2D).

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  1. Martin Reichard
  2. Matej Polačik
The Natural History of Model Organisms: Nothobranchius furzeri, an 'instant' fish from an ephemeral habitat
eLife 8:e41548.