Etymology: Girardinus after the
French – American ichthyologist Charles Girard
to the metallic body colouration.
First description: Poey F.
Los guajacones, poecesillos de agua dulce. In Poey,
F., Memorias sobre la historia natural de la Isla de Cuba.
Havana, vol. 1, pp 374 – 392, figs 8-11.
Common name : Metallic livebearer, Metallic Topminnow
Synonyms: Girardinus garmani Eigenmann 1903
pygmaeus Rivas 1944
Type Locality: Botanic Gardens, Havana, Cuba.
Distribution: Costa Rica, Throughout Cuba, except easternmost area at 200-300 m elevation.
suggest the first import for the aquarium trade was made in 1906 by W. Schroot
Habitat: It can be
found in streams, ponds and ditches. The water is commonly stagnant and
Inhabits ponds, lakes and streams. Prefers clear,
stagnant or very sluggish water.
Size: Male 5.0 cm, Female 9.0 cm
metallicus has a streamlined head and body with a superior mouth. The dorsal,
pectoral, and caudal fins are medium length and rounded. Females have longer,
deeper, more rounded bodies than the males with rounded anal fins.
are two known colour variants for this species the better known ‘black-chin’
and a gold belly form.
Black chin – males have a black line starting from the
mouth from the mouth and continuing through the underside of the body
(including the gonopodium) and can reach the caudal fin, some specimens can
have further black colouration which in some circumstances envelopes the whole
Gold form – males have a gold underside extending from
the rear of the belly to the caudal peduncle.
The females for both variants look the same,
Bodies and heads range between translucent silver to a
pale gold to olive colour. Iridescent silver diamond-shaped bars along the
Dorsal fin has
a black spot at the bottom centre of the dorsal fin. Males have a deep overall
metallic gold sheen, making the silver diamonds appear brighter and larger than
on the paler female.
will predate fry. Likes to swim in the upper part of water column
should be medium hard and alkaline with
a gentle flow, a sponge filter or something of that ilk is perfect. A
temperature of 24º to 26º should be aimed for
Girardinus metallicus are omnivores and enjoy live or
frozen foods, supplemented with algae flakes and small pellet food.
A well planted tank comprising of a substrate of
sand/gravel and plenty of surface cover will help this fish to acclimatise and
feel secure. Hiding places will also be advantageous.
Notes: As with other poeciliid species, the males are known for their persistent behaviour so a
ratio of at least 2 females per male is recommended.
Gestation takes around 24 – 28 days and
broods of between 15-30 fry can
be expected and adult fish will predate on the young so plenty of plant cover
is required to provide shelter for the fry.
References: Wischnath, L., 1993 – Atlas of livebearers of the
Seriously fish www.seriouslyfish.com
Lee, D.S., S.P. Platania and G.H. Burgess, 1983. Atlas of North American freshwater