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The bitterling (Acheilognathus melanogaster) is a fairly common winter fish found in all games of the Animal Crossing series. It can be found in the river all day during the months of November through March. It sells for varying prices depending on the game.

Capture quotes

"I caught a bitterling! I wonder what makes this little guy so angry..." —Animal Crossing
"I caught a bitterling! So small, so very bitter!" —Wild World
"I caught a bitterling! But it's pretty sweet to me!" —City Folk
"I caught a bitterling! What's it so bitter about?" —New Leaf
"I caught a bitterling! It's mad at me, but only a little." —New Horizons
Japanese Quotes

「たなごを つり上げた!きれいで カワイー!」 —Animal Forest

"I caught a bitterling! It's so cute!" (translation)

Game data

In older games
Game Name Price Location Shadow Time Months #
AF
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
AF+
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
PG
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
AFE+
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
WW
Bitterling 900 River tiny All day Nov - Feb 1
CF
Bitterling 900 River tiny All day Nov - Feb 1
NL
Bitterling 900 River tiny All day Nov - Feb 1


Donation to the museum

As with all fish caught in Animal Crossing series, the bitterling can be donated to the museum in each game by talking to Blathers, who will also give some information on it.

In Animal Crossing

Upon donation, Blathers the curator will say:

"Hoo! Indeed, WOO hoo! A bitterling, I believe. Even run-of-the-mill, common fish are valuable resources, you see. All part of the grand tapestry, wot! We will take excellent care of this fellow, oh yes. You can rest assured. Excellent care, indeed."

In Wild World

Upon donation, Blathers the curator will say:

"I must say, I've never personally considered eating one of these before. It's so very...goldfishy... No, not particularly tasty-looking, to be sure..."

After donation, the bitterling can be found in the front tank in the first room.

In City Folk

Upon donation, Blathers the curator will say:

"It's quite common for enthusiasts to keep bitterlings in the same tank as tropical fish, eh wot? Indeed, once upon a time, this fish was a popular choice for the private fishing ponds of the rich!"

It can be found swimming around in the middle-left tank in the aquarium after donation.

In New Leaf

In New Leaf, an information board in the aquarium will list information about this fish.

These fish are so small, they can fit their entire body in the palm of your hand. During mating season, the male's belly turns a light orange in order to properly attract a mate. They live in rivers and lakes and deposit eggs in large bivalves where the eggs hatch and live for a while.

In New Horizons

Upon donation or selecting "Tell me more about this!", Blathers the curator will say:

"Bitterlings hide their eggs inside large bivalves—like clams—where the young can stay safe until grown. The bitterling isn't being sneaky. No, their young help keep the bivalve healthy by eating invading parasites! It's a wonderful bit of evolutionary deal making, don't you think? Each one keeping the other safe... Though eating parasites does not sound like a happy childhood... Is that why the fish is so bitter?"

Encyclopedia information

Wild World

Fish
Encyclopedia Information
Bitterling (Wild World) "They lay their eggs in live shellfish, so they're easy to raise, but hard to breed."
Size 3.9 inches
Habitat Rivers
Season Winter
Icon Bitterling (Wild World icon)

City Folk

Fish
Encyclopedia Information
Bitterling (City Folk)
"Easy to raise but tricky to breed, these are hard to find in the wild."
Size About 4 inches.
Habitat Rivers
Season Winter

New Leaf

Fish
Encyclopedia Information
Bitterling encyclopedia (New Leaf)
"I caught a bitterling! What's it so bitter about?"
Size About 4 inches.
Habitat Rivers
Season Winter


Further information

Main article: Rhodeus on Wikipedia
Bitterling2

Real bitterlings

The Japanese bitterling (Acheilognathus melanogaster) is found in lakes, pond swamps and rivers throughout Japan. It is omnivorous, feeding on small aquatic insects and crustaceans and algae. It is an oviparous breeder from March to June. However, it is becoming rarer, and has been declared extinct in two prefectures of Japan.

In other languages

Bitterling
Language Name
Flag of Japan Japanese タナゴ Tanago
Flag of France small French Bouvière
Flag of Spain Spanish Amarguillo
Flag of Germany small German Bitterling
Flag of Italy small Italian Rodeo
New Leaf Dutch Bittervoorn



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