Definition of bitterling in English:



  • A small brightly coloured freshwater fish of central Europe. The eggs are deposited inside a mussel, in which they are fertilized and the young eventually hatch.

    Rhodeus amarus, family Cyprinidae

    • ‘Species (or larger taxonomic groups) used as hosts by this species are orange spotted sunfish, bitterling, white-tail shiner, spotfin shiner, and big-eye chub.’
    • ‘Heading towards the Yukon you should catch bitterlings in the winter.’
    • ‘The bitterlings comprise about 5 species in Europe, Asia Minor, the Caspian Sea basin, China, Japan and Korea with 1 species in Iran.’
    • ‘The fertilized eggs develop inside the mussel shell and the little bitterlings leave it three to four weeks later.’
    • ‘The European bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus, Cyprinidae) is a freshwater fish in which the quality of the resource is of crucial importance for successful reproduction but can easily be manipulated.’
    • ‘I received an e-mail back saying that blue bitterlings, rainbow dace, and paradise fish do well with them.’
    • ‘Clonorchis used to be transmitted through eating raw small cyprinids such as minnows and bitterlings.’
    • ‘The little bitterlings grow inside the mussel without harming it, but where they are safe behind solid walls and with a constant supply of food drawn in for them by the mussel's own feeding activities.’
    • ‘Juveniles of rotan are seldom predators, adults feed mostly on fish; young of rotan, bitterlings, minnows.’
    • ‘Fish species belonging to this type are classified into 3 groups: medaka, loach, etc. that either migrate to paddy fields to spawn or can remain permanently in paddy fields; Japanese bitterlings that do not necessarily migrate to paddy fields; and sticklebacks that cannot survive where there are no springs.’
    • ‘The bitterling appears to be not a particularly fussy eater, but it's a small fish so likes small foods.’
    • ‘As was already suspected in 1993, the bitterlings have disappeared from the basin, since the species of mussel essential for their successful reproduction is lacking.’
    • ‘During the spawning season, male bitterling establish small territories around mussels and court females.’
    • ‘Similarly, in the European bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus, dominant males invested most in ejaculations before oviposition if only one competitor was present.’
    • ‘New York's Saw Mill River was stocked with bitterlings ten years ago, but two years later they had disappeared.’
    • ‘They may - I don't know a lot about silver bitterlings, but from what I know of fish, those that lay eggs in protected spots tend to do so because the fry will remain there for awhile and thus be protected…’
    • ‘Currently I am using DNA microsatellite analysis to determine paternity and sibship among embryonic bitterling in mussels collected from natural populations to quantify the frequency and importance of sneaking.’


Late 19th century: from German Bitterling, from bitter ‘bitter’ (translating Latin amarus) + -ling.