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Aplocheilidae is a family of bony fishes containing two, possibly three genera. Formerly, Aplocheilidae was synonymous with what is now recognized as the superfamily Aplocheiloidei as a whole, in that the Nothobranchiidae of Africa and the mainly South American Rivulidae grouped as subfamilies. This obsolete system is sometimes still seen, e.g. in ITIS.
Aplocheilids are small killifish, reaching 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in length. Species are found in southern Asia (Aplocheilus) and Madagascar (Pachypanchax). The West African genus Archiaphyosemion is often placed in the Nothobranchiidae instead of Aplocheilidae. All genera live in fresh water, but some species are somewhat salt-tolerant. As befitting euryhaline fish, some species are also found in muddy or brackish water. Some species are kept in aquariums.
Many aplocheilids lay their eggs at the end of the rainy season, attaching them to the mud as their habitat begins to dry out. The adults die shortly after spawning, and the eggs enter an inactive diapause stage throughout the dry season. Once the return of the rains stimulates the eggs to develop and hatch, growth is swift; there is almost no larval period, and the fish are sexually mature at the age of about one month.
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