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Species: Poecilia picta, Black Picta, Swamp Guppy, Swamp Guppy Molly

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

male: bars on rear body, D white + central curved stripe & black edge
female +/- dark blotch; spots around genital area
D origin over/behind center A
D 6-7; A 9-10
male C: top red stripe, black edge & spot below; curved bar lower base
male sometimes red

Poecilia picta Regan, 1913

Swamp Guppy, Black Picta, Swamp Guppy Molly

Head and body moderately robust, moderately compressed at rear; head depressed; 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 short base, its origin over or behind middle of anal fin, 6-7 rays; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin; tip of pelvic fin of males distinctly swollen, elongate; pectorals high on flank, 5th ray not scalloped in male; anal fin 9-10 rays 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, that organ relatively short (not reaching beyond level of rear margin of dorsal fin base), with straight tip that has small spines & a long fleshy palp that extends past the tip of the organ; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin rounded, without elongate sword; scales smooth and relatively large, 26-29 lateral scales.

Male: color not highly variable, body usually grey-green, sometimes orange red; usually a few black spots or short vertical black bars on rear of body; dorsal fin whitish, with black edge and curved black stripe through its center, black spots below that; tail fin with black top border, a short red stripe below that, and an oval black spot on a cream background below that, a curved black bar on lower half of fin base, another down center of fin. Female: upper body pale grey-green, lower body whitish; usually with a single dark spot surrounded by a lighter halo on side, with mottled spotting around genital opening.

Reaches 5 cm for females, 3 cm for males.

Brackish water to fresh water.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

NE Venezuela to Guyana

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • 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
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1