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Poecilia sphenops

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Poecilia sphenops

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Poecilia sphenops
Poecilia sphenops
 
Poecilia sphenops
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
 
Phylum: Chordata
 
Class: Actinopterygii
 
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
 
Family: Poeciliidae
 
Genus: Poecilia
 
Species: P. sphenops
 
Binomial name
Poecilia sphenops
(Valenciennes, 1846)

Poecilia sphenops is a species of fish, of the genus Poecilia, known under the common name Molly. They inhabit the coastal brackish and marine waters of Mexico.

This species is one of the ancestors of the Black Molly, a melanistic breed which is black all over. It is one of the most well-known aquarium fishes and nearly as easy to keep and prolific as guppies (for optimal health and breeding success, they demand fresh vegetable food like algae). There are several other popular breeds, like the golden molly nicknamed "24 karat", or the balloon molly, which however has a deformed spine and a decreased lifespan due to the associated health problems. Also, breeds with altered caudal fin structures like lyretails exist. The wild form is in fact quite rarely kept, as it has a rather plain silvery coloration suffused with brown and green hues. If given good care with ample sunlight, high water temperatures and fresh vegetables, they will, however, prove charming fish who make up for their somewhat plain coloration with their lively behavior.

The common molly can produce fertile hybrids with many Poecilia species, most importantly the sailfin molly. In the case of black hybrids, they are called Midnight Molly. These are very popular due to their impressive dorsal fins, but require a bit more attention and have a somewhat decreased lifespan.

References


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