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Species: Poecilia orri, Mangrove Molly

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without 2 pairs pores on snout
body blueish + rows orange spots
D 8-10, origin behind pelvic origin
male: dark oval spot above pectoral base, C - large spots
male: pelvic tips swollen, sex organ short, + palp & small spines under straight tip
scales: 25-27 lateral, 16 around tail base

Poecilia orri Fowler, 1943

Mangrove Molly

Head and body moderately robust (larger) to elongate (smaller), moderately compressed at rear; head depressed; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; mouth small, at front, slightly oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting, top jaw protractile; jaw teeth consist of an outer row of large backward curved teeth with expanded tips, and several rows of small pointed teeth; without 2 pairs of pores on top of snout before eyes: 1 dorsal fin with short base, its origin behind pelvic origin, 9 (8-10) rays; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin; tip of pelvic fin of males swollen, elongate; pectorals high on flank, 5th ray not scalloped in male; anal fin 8-9 rays, origin under (female) or a little behind (male) dorsal fin origin; 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, that organ relatively short, with straight tip that has small spines & a fleshy palp; tail base deep (20.5-24% of SL); tail fin rounded, without elongate sword; scales smooth and relatively large; 25-27 lateral scales, 16 scales around tail fin base.

Occurs in 2 distinct forms that use different microhabitats: Top of head and back bluey black; sides steel blue, with faint rows of orange spots; male with a dark oval spot above pectoral fin base and large spots on tail fin base. Type 1: dorsal and tail fins lemon yellow, with scattered black spots on fin membranes. Type 2: tail brick-red with large black spots on inner 2/3 of its membranes, rear edge black; dorsal fin inner half black + white spots, outer half brick red, with a few black spots and a black outer edge.

Reaches 7.3 cm.

Fresh to full strength salt water, lagoons, mangroves, sandy beaches.

Depth range: 0-3 m.

The NW Caribbean.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
  • 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
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3