Limia vittata (Guichenot, 1853)

Etymology:                           

Limia: Limia derived from the Latin ‘limus’ meaning mud, pertaining to the feeding habits of the fish

Vittata: (Latin) meaning “striped” or “banded”

First description:

Guichenot, A. 1853: Poissons. In: De la sagra, R., Histoire physique, politique et naturelle de l’Ile de

Cuba. Vol. 2. Paris. 1-206, Pisces pls. 1-5

Synonyms:

Poecilia vittata Guichenot, 1853                                                                                                      

Limia cubensis Poey, 1854                                                                                                               

Limia pavonina Poey, 1876

Group:

This species belongs to the subgenus Limia

Populations:                         

Found all over Cuba and Isle of Pines, an introduced population can also be found in Hawaii

Habitat:                                 

Streams, lakes, estuaries, coastal lagoons, and mangrove swamps, the species is generally found in the lower reaches of streams or in coastal marshes near brackish and saline waters. 

Size:                                      

Males to 50 mm SL, females to >100 mm

Colouration:

Wild caught fish have a base colour is an olive green/beige with a dark edge to their scales which give a net like appearance. The sides have from two to four rows of dots whilst the underside of the fish especially around the belly are white.

Males have a yellow tint to their dorsal and caudal fins which are covered in numerous black spots. Several brown vertical stripes are also visible on their flanks.

Females are plainer than the males and generally have two rows of feint bands or spots on their dorsal fins.

Wild fish can be found with the characteristic blotching on, but this is a low proportion.

Aquarium strain fish have a base colour of pale beige with a white belly, with a range of black and sometimes some deep yellow blotches on the sides. The scales have the dark edging similar to the wild form.

Males have yellow to almost orange dorsal and caudal fins, these are covered in numerous black spots.

Females have a yellow patch behind the anal fin. The fins are generally without colour and may have a few scattered dark spots. 

Behaviour:

An active fish with a peaceful but inquisitive nature.

Husbandry:

A large aquarium planted to allow plenty of swimming space and having a moderate current will suit these fish, regular water changes are recommended and a Ph. of 7.6 to 8.0 should be aimed for. 

Breeding Notes:

Females can produce over 100 fry every 4-6 weeks. 

Wild caught male and female

Pictures courtesy of Don Kenwood

Aquarium strain

Picture courtesy of Alan Pool

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