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Species: Poecilia petenensis, Petén Molly

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

male D - undulating stripes + large white spots, margin orange
D 14-16, origin before pelvic orgin
male C: rows orange-brown spots, margin orange, black triangular point at lower corner
male: pelvic tips swollen, sex organ short, + palp & small spines + 2 hooks under straight tip
scales: 28-30 lateral, 20 around tail base

Poecilia petenensis Günther, 1866

Petén Molly

Head and body relatively slender, 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 conical; dorsal fin with long base, 14 (14-16 rays), origin over or before pelvic origin; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin; tip of pelvic fin of males swollen, elongate; pectorals high on flank, 14 or more rays, 5th ray not scalloped in male; anal fin 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, two hooks and a long fleshy palp on underside; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin bluntly straight, that of male with a short triangular point on lower rear corner; scales smooth and relatively large, 28-30 lateral scales, 20 scales around tail base.

Grey brown; body with rows of small orange spots along scale rows; dorsal fin of male with dark undulating stripes and large whitish spots along its inner 3/4, outer edge orange; tail fin of male with vertical rows of small orange-brown spots, rear edge orange, lower border and extension black.

Reaches 15 cm.

Fresh, to brackish water coastal lagoons.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

Campeche to Guatemala.

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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
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
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1