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Livebearing Fish

Poecilia mexicana
Shortfin molly

Scientific name:
Poecilia mexicana
Former scientific name:
Poecilia sphenops
Poecilia cuneata
Common Names:
Shortfin molly
Natural habitat:
Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua.

Photo © Mikael Håkansson

Poecilia mexicana is a herbivorous fish that mainly feeds on algae and plants. In the aquarium, it should primarily be given green food. The species is a livebearer that gives birth to fry in a calm place, and about 28 days after fertilization, the female gives birth to approximately 10-50 fry, although this varies.

This peaceful species can be kept in a community aquarium without any problems, and it is advantageous to have more females than males in the aquarium. Poecilia mexicana thrives in hard, alkaline water and can also contain some salt (about 2-5 g/l).

Males have more vibrant colors, possess a gonopodium, and have a yellow or yellow-orange seam at the back of the caudal fin. Females grow slightly larger. There are several populations of the species, and their colors may vary somewhat.

The species has been introduced in several countries in the Caribbean and southern USA.

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