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Rainbowfishes and Silversides: Atheriniformes

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Rainbowfishes, Silversides, And People, Conservation Status, California Grunion (leuresthes Tenuis): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET


Rainbowfishes and silversides live all over the world.

Rainbowfishes and silversides live in coastal areas of seas; estuaries (EHS-chew-air-eez), areas where rivers meet the sea; reefs; lagoons, and the surf along beaches. Only a few species live in the open water. Freshwater species live in lakes and streams, rain-forest pools, spring-fed desert waterholes, and mountain lakes.

Rainbowfishes and silversides eat invertebrates, which are animals without backbones; algae; and plankton. Some species eat fish larvae. Algae (AL-jee) are plantlike growths that live in water and have no true roots, stems, or leaves. Plankton are microscopic plants and animals drifting in the water. Larvae (LAR-vee) are animals in an early stage that must change form before becoming adults.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates