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Species: Poecilia gillii, Molly

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

bluey-silver + rows yellow spots
D 9-10, spots/black blotch at base
male: pelvic tips swollen, sex organ - + palp & spines under straight tip
scales: lateral 26-29, around tail base 16

Poecilia gillii (Kner, 1863)


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, inner row of teeth with 1 point; 1 dorsal fin, 9-10 rays, with short base, at rear of body, fin enlarged and can be very long in male; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin; tip of pelvic fin of male swollen, elongate; pectorals high on flank, 14 or more rays, 5th ray not scalloped in male; anal fin 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 short & with a straight tip that has small spines and a fleshy palp; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin rounded, without elongate sword; scales smooth and relatively large, 27 (26-29) in longitudinal series, 16 around base of tail.

Body silvery with blue and green highlights, with several rows of yellowish spots; dorsal fin with a large black blotch or spots at base; tail fin with rows of black spots or a black blotch on base; males sometimes with an orange margin to tail, dorsal fin with red color; anal and pectorals yellowish.

Reaches 10.5 cm.

Primarily freshwater, but large adults also in brackish water.

Depth range: 0-3 m?

Atlantic and Pacific watersheds;Honduras to Colombia

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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
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Detritus
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • New world (East Pacific + West Atlantic)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3