Swordtail

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Swordtail

 

(Xiphophorus helleri), a fish of the family Poeciliidae of the order Cyprinodontidae. It is found in the fresh waters of Mexico and Guatemala. Males are up to 8 cm long, and females 12 cm. The lower part of the male’s caudal fin has the distinctive form of a sword. Swordtails are grayish olive, with a longitudinal red stripe and several shorter reddish bands parallel to it. The females, which are not as brightly colored as the males, are live-bearers. The swordtail is a popular aquarium fish. It hybridizes with the closely related platy (X. maculatus) to form black, red, lemon, mottled red, and other varieties.

REFERENCE

Il’in, M. N. Akvariumnoe rybovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.