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Species: Poecilia velifera, Yucatan Molly

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

tan + rows red-brown spots
+/- black blotches body & fins
D 16-20, origin before pelvic base; male: inner 2/
C lower border dark
male: pelvic tips swollen, sex organ short,+ palp & spines under straight tip
scales: 26-27 lateral, 20 around tail base

Poecilia velifera (Regan, 1914)

Yucatan 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; 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; 1 dorsal fin with long base, its origin before pelvic origin, 16-20 rays, fin enlarged in both sexes, high and sail-like in male; 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 9, origin well behind dorsal fin origin in both sexes; 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 relatively narrow; tail fin rounded, without elongate sword; scales smooth and relatively large; 26-27 lateral scales, 20 around tail base.

Light pearly grey to tan; male with 8-10 rows of small red-brown spots on scales in rows along body; tail fin with rows of small brown and pearl spots; inner 2/3 of membranes of dorsal fin dark and with 4-5 rows of pearl spots; anal fin without white border; tail fin with lower border dark; female with much less extensive spotting on body and fins; sometimes wild fish with dense irregular black blotches on head, body and fins.

Reaches 15.2 cm

Fresh to brackish water.

Depth range: 0-3 m.

W and E Yucatan peninsula.

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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
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
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15.2
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3