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Aplocheilidae are a family of bony fishes containing 2–3 genera. Formerly, Aplocheilidae was used for the Aplocheiloidei as a whole, i.e. including the Nothobranchiidae of Africa and the mainly South American Rivulidae as subfamilies. This obsolete system is sometimes still seen, e.g. in ITIS.
Aplocheilids are small killifish, usually measuring about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length. Species are found in southern Asia (Aplocheilus) and Madagascar (Pachypanchax). The West African Archiaphyosemion is often placed in Nothobranchiidae instead of Aplocheilidae. They live in fresh water but are somewhat salt-tolerant. They are also found in muddy or brackish water. Some species are kept in aquariums.
Many aplocheilid fish 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 remain inactive (diapause) 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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