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Poecilia sphenops 4cm assorted

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Poecilia latipinna  (Lesueur, 1821)

Sailfin molly
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Poecilia latipinna
Picture by Mensch, R.


Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cyprinodontiformes (Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers) > Poeciliidae (Poeciliids) > Poeciliinae
Etymology: Poecilia: Greek, poikilos = with a lot of colours (Ref. 45335).


Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; non-migratory; depth range 0 - ? m (Ref. 55263).   Subtropical; 20°C - 28°C (Ref. 2060); 40°N - 16°N, 103°W - 76°W (Ref. 55263)


Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723); 10.0 cm TL (female); common length : 3.4 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193)


Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

The large sail-like dorsal fin of the male is the most distinctive characteristic of this fish; coloration can vary from green, gray to jet black; speckled forms also common (Ref. 44091).


Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: Cape Fear drainage in North Carolina, USA to Veracruz, Mexico. Introduced to many countries. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction. Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 26938).


Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in still or gently flowing warm water of small creeks and drains (Ref. 44894). Occurs in ponds, lakes, sloughs, and quiet, often vegetated, backwaters and pools of streams (Ref. 5723) and also in coastal waters (Ref. 7251). Abundant in tidal ditches and brackish canals. Feeds mainly on algae (Refs. 7251; 44091), also consumes animal material: rotifers, small crustaceans (such as copepods and ostracods) and aquatic insects (Ref. 79012).


Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.


IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

Potential pest


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