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⬅ #80 coelacanth #1 bitterlingNH-Icon-bitterling #2 pale chub ➡

Bitterling Gallery
"I caught a bitterling! It's mad at me, but only a little." —New Horizons

The bitterling 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)

「タナゴを 釣り上げた!小さくて キュート!」 —New Horizons

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

Game data[]

In older games
Game Name Price Location Shadow Time Months #
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
Bitterling 1,300 River tiny All day Dec - Feb 10
Bitterling 900 River tiny All day Nov - Feb 1
Bitterling 900 River tiny All day Nov - Feb 1
Bitterling 900 River tiny All day Nov - Feb 1

Donation to the museum[]

As with all fish caught in Animal Crossing series, a bitterling can be donated to the museum in each game by talking to Blathers, who when requested 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 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 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 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[]

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[]

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[]

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

New Horizons[]

Encyclopedia Information
"I caught a bitterling! It's mad at me, but only a little."
Habitat River
Months active (north) November through March
Months active (south) May through September

Further information[]


Real bitterlings

Main article: Rhodeus on Wikipedia

The Japanese Rosy Bitterling (Rhodeus ocellatus/smithii) is found in ponds and inland rivers throughout Japan. It is omnivorous, feeding on small aquatic insects and crustaceans and algae. It is an oviparous breeder from March to September. This fish is unfortunately classed as Critically Endangered but numbers are on the rise as this specific bitterling has been cross-bred with another bitterling species.

In other languages[]

Language Name Translation
Japan Japanese タナゴ Tanago -
France French Bouvière -
Spain Spanish Amarguillo -
Germany German Bitterling -
Italy Italian Rodeo -
The Netherlands Dutch Bittervoorn -
Russia Russian Горчак Gorchak -
China Chinese 红目鲫/紅目鯽 Hóngmùjì -
South Korea Korean 납줄개 Napjulgae -

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