Poecild's files

Poecilia sp. endler (Girard 1859)

Endler's Livebearer, Endler's Poecilia.


Poecilia endler

an extract from the article Three Unusual Livebearers by Howard Norfolk. Original publication : Vancouver Aquatic Hobbyist Club Newsletter.
You can find the whole article here: http://www.aquarticles.com


Endler's Livebearers are small guppy-like fish. They were first collected in 1937, and then re-discovered in 1975 by Professor John Endler. He took the fish to The New York Aquarium, from where they were taken to Germany. German aquarists bred them, sometimes mixing them with guppies of various breeds, and in the 1980's they found their way back to America, and to Japan and elsewhere.

Dr. Endler says that the "Endler's livebearer" is its own species, since although it will interbreed with the guppy (many livebearers will interbreed), it will only produce F1 hybrids. It should be kept apart from guppies unless hybrids are desired.

"Endlers" were found in a small lake called Laguna de Patos, near Cumana, in the hot dry coastal desert area of north-eastern Venezuela, and were rumoured to be in another lake nearby. The Laguna is a warm (81C) marsh, with hard brackish water, and is green with unicellular algae. It is only two miles from the city dump, and Dr. Endler speculated in 1995 that the fish may be extinct in the wild by now. I have also been told that a resort has recently been built in the area and that the lake has been filled in.

The female is larger and looks like a female guppy, but the male is a very unusual looking little jewel of a fish, with iridescent metallic green, orange, gold and black blocks of colour, a white dorsal fin and a red forked tail. The markings are unusually laid out: if there is such a thing as an "Art-Deco" fish, this is it! The water in which they were found was so green with algae that it is supposed that the bright colouration evolved as the only way a female could see a prospective mate! As with many other fish, the most dominant males are the brightest coloured, which is believed due to hormones in alpha males. The intensity of the colour patches also varies according to the conditions this fish finds himself in, and what is more, even in the wild, there were further variations in colour between individuals (e.g. 10% of males had black pectoral fins).

Endlers are active fish that swim at all levels and eat and breed readily, and should be happy wherever you might otherwise keep guppies.



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