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Species: Poecilia vittata, Banded Limia, Cuban Limia, Cuban Molly, Striped Mudfish

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dotted stripe - operculum to C
male: D&C yellow-orange + rows black spots
female: yellow patch near anus
male: pelvic tips swollen, sex organ - with fleshy palp, no spines

Poecilia vittata (Guichenot, 1853)

Cuban Limia, Banded Limia, Striped Mudfish, Cuban Molly

Head and body moderately robust, moderately compressed at rear; head depressed; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; preoperculum with 7 pores, that do not form an open canal; mouth small, at front, slightly oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting, top jaw protractile; outer teeth strongly compressed, spatula-like; inner teeth 3-pointed; 1 dorsal fin with short base, at rear of body; anal fin origin distinctly before dorsal fin origin; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin; tip of pelvic fin of males swollen, elongate, tip of 2nd ray fleshy, cuved inward, tip of 3rd ray branched; pectorals high on flank, 5th ray not scalloped in male; 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, tip of that organ straight, without spines, with a large fleshy palp that extends beyond the end of the organ; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin rounded; scales smooth and relatively large.

Olive green; with several rows of blackish dots forming a stripe from the upper corner of the operculum to the tail. Female: with a yellow patch near the vent, tail fin clear, dorsal fin with 1-2 rows of black spots at its base. Male with dorsal and tail fins translucent yellow-orange, with rows of black spots over most of both fins.

Reaches 8.0 cm (females twice the size of males).

In fresh to brackish water; coastal streams, lakes and mangroves.

Depth range 0-1 m?

Endemic to Cuba.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mangrove
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Data
  • Detritus
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Antilles endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1