Annual fish are found in temporary bodies of water in habitats of alternating rainy and dry seasons. The populations survive the dry seasons in the form of embryos encased in the bottom mud. Several genera of annual fish have been reported to exhibit diapause (developmental arrest) at three specific stages of development and it has been proposed that through this adaptation the populations are able to survive the variable durations of the dry seasons. The effects of incubation ans spawning temperatures, and season of collection on the onset and duration of diapause in laboratory populations of the annual fish, Nothobranchius guentheri, were studied. At low incubation and spawning temperatures there was a prolongation of Diapause I and Diapause II. In addition, fish spawned at 25 degrees C during the short days of winter produced embryos that entered a prolonged duration of Diapause II, whereas embryos produced during the long days of summer bypassed Diapause II.