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Species: Gambusia puncticulata, Caribbean Gambusia

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark stripe back from eye
dark line under tail base
scale edges dark
D 8-10
A 10-11
Caribbean Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Bahamas, Cayman, Jamaica
male: pectoral 5th ray scalloped, sex organ - no palp, + hooks above tip
lateral scales 29-32

Gambusia puncticulata Poey, 1854

Caribbean Gambusia

Head and body moderately robust, moderately compressed at rear; head depressed; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; mouth small, opens at front, slightly oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting, top jaw protractile; jaw teeth consist of an outer row of large backward curved teeth, and several rows of small pointed teeth; 1 dorsal fin with short base, at rear of body, 8-10 rays; anal fin origin distinctly before dorsal fin origin in both sexes female with 10-11 rays; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin, tips of fins of males not swollen; pectorals high on flank, 14-15, modified in male, with 5th ray scalloped near its tip; 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, that greatly elongate (~1/3 SL) organ not slender, pointed with tip curved upwards and with 2 recurved hooks on its top side, without a fleshy palp; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin rounded; scales smooth and relatively large, 29-32 along side.

Light olive, a dark stripe running back from eye, becoming diffuse beyond pectoral fin; edges of scales dark; with/without dark bar under eye; a dark line along underside of tail base; body, dorsal and tail fins (of all subspecies except that in Bahamas) with rows of dark spots.

Reaches 6.6 cm.

Fresh, brackish and salt water in coastal areas.

Depth: 0-1 m.

The Bahamas, Cuba, Cayman Is and Jamaica; 7 subspecies at different sites.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Data
  • Detritus
  • Insects
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6.6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1