Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Poecilia, Molly, Mollies, Guppies, Livebearers

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

teeth - curved back, tips like spoons
male: pelvic tips swollen, pectoral 5th ray not scalloped
male sex organ - fleshy palp, 2 hooks & recurved spines under straight tip



Head and body moderately robust, moderately compressed at rear; head depressed; tail base relatively narrow; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; mouth small, opens 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 (spoon or oar-shaped) tips, and several rows of small pointed teeth; 1 dorsal fin with short or long base, origin at front or rear of body; 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; 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin origin under (female) or a little behind (male) dorsal fin origin; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, that organ short & with a straight tip that, on its underside, has small spines, two hooks, and a long  fleshy palp and no blade; tail fin rounded, without elongate sword; scales smooth and relatively large.

A genus of primarily freshwater fishes from Mexico to Brazil, and the W Indies; with ~3 dozen species; 7 species entering brackish water.