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Pikes and Mudminnows: Esociformes

Behavior And Reproduction

Outside the breeding season, pikes and mudminnows are solitary and swim and live alone. Pikes usually hover among plants and use small fin movements to stay in place. From this position, the fish wait for their prey, or animals hunted and killed for food, which they capture with a fast strike. Mudminnows may perch on plants or rest on the bottom, eliminating the need for fin movement. When oxygen levels in the water are low, mudminnows swim up to the water surface and gulp air.

Most pikes and mudminnows spawn, or release eggs, early in the spring when water temperatures begin to increase. Some migrate to reach their spawning grounds. Spawning most often involves one female and a few to several males. In some species, the males court the females through swimming displays or aggression. Before releasing eggs, the fish make exaggerated swimming motions and side-to-side contact. Eggs may stick to plants or drop to the bottom. The young do not receive parental care.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesPikes and Mudminnows: Esociformes - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Muskellunge (esox Masquinongy): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, PIKES AND MUDMINNOWS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS