A Virtual Museum on the State's Fish Biodiversity
Poecilia reticulata
Guppy
Credit: Chad Thomas, Texas State University

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Life
Animalia
Chordata
Actinopterygii
Cyprinodontiformes
Poeciliidae (Livebearers)
Poecilia
Poecilia reticulata (Guppy)

Description

All text below is derived from a January 2013 copy of Dr. Timothy Bonner's website at Texas State University. That content was derived primarily from published literature. We are aware of some conflicts with the museum record and the content below will evolve as the new, expanded UT and Texas State Fishes of Texas project team members are able to update it. We invite collaborations to improve and expand the species account content. Please contact us if you wish to help, or if you discover flaws in our species account content that you can address.

Type Locality

Caracas, Venezuela (Peters 1859).

 

Etymology/Derivation of Scientific Name

Poecilia, from Greek poikilos (Latinized stem poecil), meaning “variegated, speckled” (Boschung and Mayden 2004).

 

Synonymy

Lebistes reticulatus, Girardinus reticulatus, Acanthophacelus gupii, Heterandria gupii, Poecilia poeciloides and others (Dawes 1991).

 

Characters

Maximum size: 27mm for females and 21mm for males in (Sublette et all 1990).

 

Coloration: The females and some males uniformly brownish with scale pockets outlined with melanopores. Base and caudal fin faintly suffused with melanopores, with a distinct dark blotch or unmarked. Males unmarked or, usually, with one to three ocelli on sides and one rounded to irregular spot on caudal base, base of gonopodium with an irregular dark spot ranging from distinct to diffuse, color of aquarium races highly variable (Sublette et all 1990).

 

Pharyngeal teeth count:

 

Counts: No lateral line (Hubbs et al 1991).

 

Body shape: Back slightly arched (Sublette et all 1990). Fewer than 9 (usually 7 or 8) dorsal fin rays (Hubbs et al 1991).

 

Mouth position: Mouth small, superior, with weakly spatulate to villiform teeth; anterior row largest, rows diminishing in size posteriorly (Sublette et all 1990).

 

External morphology: Adult males with a modified anal fin forming a gonopodium; third soft ray in anal fin unbranched in both sexes. Caudal fin rounded (Hubbs et al 1991).

 

Additional info from Hubbs key: Intestinal canal long with many convulsions; teeth not moveable.

 

Distribution (Native and Introduced)

U.S. distribution: Established in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California and Florida. Introductions due to escapes from fish farms and released aquariums. (Hensley and Courtenay 1980) Arizona, New Mexico, California, Idaho, Montana, Texas, Wyoming, Florida, and Alberta (Sublette et all 1990). Native to the Caribbean (Hubbs et al. 1991).

 

Texas distribution: Popular aquarium fish has been introduced widely within the state. An established population in the wild exists only in the San Antonio River near Brackenridge Park (Hubbs et al. 1991).

 

Abundance/Conservation status (Federal, State, NGO)

 

 

Habitat Associations

Macrohabitat: Substrates; silt, mud, rocks, sand, gravel and leaves (Reznick and Ender 1982).

 

Mesohabitat: Temperature sensitive (Sublette et al., 1991).

 

Biology

Spawning season: Throughout the year (Reznick and Ender 1982).

 

Spawning habitat:

 

Spawning Behavior: Ovoviviparous, high intermale competition male display is highly developed as well as polymorphism in male secondary sexual coloration. (Farr 1976).

 

Fecundity: After reaching sexual maturity, they produce a brood every 3 to 4 weeks (Reznick and Ender 1982).Very prolific species producing broods every 4-6 weeks (Dawes 1991).

 

Age at maturation: Two to three months (Reznick and Ender 1982).

 

Migration:

 

Growth and Population Structure: The female is usually much larger than the male (Sublette et al., 1990).

 

Longevity:

 

Food habits: Feeds mainly on insect larvae (Hensley and Courtenay 1980).

 

Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes

The enlarged and swollen pelvic fin and the short gonopodium with a fleshy extension anterior to the third ray in the male will distinguish the genus Poecilia from Gambusia and Poeciliopsis (Sublette et all 1990).

 

Host Records:

Trematoda and Cestoda (Hoffman 1967).

 

Commercial or Environmental Importance

 

 

References

Boschung, H. T., Jr., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Books, Washington, 736 pp.

Farr, J.A. 1976. Social facilitation of male sexual behavior, intersexual competition and sexual selection in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata (Pisces; Poeciliidae). Evolution 30:707-19).

Dawes, J. A. 1991. Livebearing Fishes. A Guide to Their Aquarium Care, Biology and Classification. Blandforn, London, England. 240 pp.

Hensley, D.A. and W.R. Courtenay, Jr. 1980. Poecilia reticulata (Peters) Guppy pp 550 in D.S. Lee et al. Atlas of North American Freshwater fishes. N.C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, i-r+854.

Hoffman, G. L. 1967. Parasites of North American Freshwater Fishes. University of California Pres. Berkeley and Los Angeles. vii-viii. 486 pp.

Hubbs, C., R. J. Edwards and G. P. Garrett. 1991. An annotated checklist of freshwater fishes of Texas, with key to identification of species. Texas Journal of Science, Supplement. 43(4):1-56.

Reznick, D. and J. A. Endler. 1982. The Impact of Predation on Life History Evolution in Trinidadian Guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Evolution 36(1): 169-177.

Sublette, J. E., M. D. Hatch, M. Sublette. 1990. The Fishes of New Mexico. Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press.

 

Records

There are no records associated with this taxon yet.

iSpecies Data

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Occurences Over Time


Movies

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Photos

Credit: Chad Thomas, Texas State University Credit: F. Douglas Martin