Family: POECILIIDAE, Toothcarps, Livebearers
pelvic under pectoral rays
A 3rd ray unbranched
Poeciliids are small fishes (4-20 cm), elongate to moderately deep bodied; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; fins without spines; 1 dorsal fin, at rear of body, its origin over (female) or behind (male) anal fin origin; 3rd anal ray unbranched; pectoral fins high on the sides of the body; pelvic fins originate behind pectoral fin base, under pectoral rays; males of most species have a gonopodium, which facilitates internal fertilization, an elongated structure composed primarily from the 3rd-5th anal rays; lateral line reduced to a series of individual pits along side of body; head and body scaled; scales smooth, large.
The family contains about 40 genera with at least 300 species. In the Greater Caribbean 21 species in six genera occur in brackish estuaries.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER GHEDOTTI (2002)