The annual fish of Africa live in temporary waters, created by seasonal rainfall, in depressions in the lanscape. Sometimes these can be very small indeed barely inches of water - yet the fish survive. These waters can dry up very quickly, so it is essential that the fish can reach a reproductive age before this happens. Eggs are laid in the muddy substrate where they will survive once the water has dried up, until the next rains come. Some areas of Africa have irregular rainfall patterns and in certain conditions the eggs may survive for years, ensuring a hatch of fry whenever the rains come. The most widely kept annual killifish come from the genus Nothobranchius, which hail from east, southern and central Africa. Other genera include Fundulosoma, and Callopanchax from central to western Africa.
The primary difference between African and South American annual fish, other than the obvious geographic ranges is that South American species live in temporary pools created by the massive annual flooding of the regions rivers.