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Species: Heterandria formosa, Dwarf livebearer, Least killifish

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black stripe along body; black blotch front of D
teeth compressed
male: pelvic tips not swollen, pectoral 5th ray not scalloped
male sex organ - no fleshy palp, down-curved hook at tip

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Heterandria formosa Girard, 1859

Least killifish, Dwarf livebearer

Head and body moderately slender to moderately robust, moderately compressed at rear, upper profile slightly convex; head depressed; snout blunt, shorter than eye; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; mouth very small, opens at front, oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting, top jaw protractile; jaw teeth consist of an outer row of large compressed teeth, and 2 inner rows of small pointed teeth; 1 dorsal fin with short base, at rear of body, 6-8 rays, origin well behind anal fin in male, over mid-anal in female; anal fin 6-10 rays; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin, tip of fin same in both sexes; pectorals high on flank; male without swollen pelvic tips and pectoral 5th ray not scalloped; 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, tip of that organ curved slightly downwards, with a down-curved hook at end, no fleshy palp; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin rounded; scales smooth and relatively large; 27-29 on side.

Color brownish olive above; flank with 6-9 indistinct darker bars, a thick black stripe from mouth to tail base; a black spot the size of 1 scale at end of stripe; dorsal fin of both sexes and anal fin of female with a large black spot at base; dorsal fin of both sexes with outer edge red.

Size: to 3.9 cm (females much larger than males).

Fresh to brackish waters.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

South Carolina to E Texas.


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Salinity
  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
Habitat
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Omnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • No pelagic phase
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.9
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1