Gambusia marshi (Minckley & Craddock, 1962)

Gambusia: derived from the Cuban term Gambusino, which means “nothing”
marshi: named in honour of E. G. Marsh, Jr,

First description:
Minckley, W.L. 1962: Two new species of fishes of the genus Gambusia (Poeciliidae) from northeastern Mexico. Copeia 1962

Common name:
Robust gambusia

Collected by Minckley, Craddock, Donald R. Tindall, and Charles B. Stone on 16 August 1960

Panuco species group comprising of G. marshi, G. Panuco, G. regain,

Type Locality:
Río Salado de los Nadadores, near junction with Río Salado de Monclova, 1mile south of
Hermanas, Coahuila, Mexico

Cuatro Cienegas basin and the Río Salado drainage, Coahuila, Mexico

Gambusia marshi is generally found in slow moving waters, regarded as most adaptable fish that can live in most environments, it can be found in most types of habitat from natural streams, marshes and lakes to artificial canals.

Males 3.5cm, Females 6cm

Distinguishing Characteristics:
Gambusia marshi has a narrow but deep body, this is more noticeable in the male than the female who does have a higher back. This species has a relatively large head with a superior mouth. The dorsal fin is positioned quite far back on the body and the anal fin is large and rounded.

Colour/Pattern Variability:
A base colour of yellowish brown with a dark brown lateral strip, the belly is white with a blue tint. It is not uncommon to find some specimens have black spots on their back.

The dorsal fins of adult males is almost orange and all other fins are yellow, females show little colour in their fins.

This is an active, but peaceful fish

This species can be kept in most environments, but does seem to do better in a planted tank with a gentle flow. An omnivore in nature that prefers diet of live food

Breeding Notes:
Generally not a problem to breed, ensure plenty of places for the fry to hide or use nursery tanks. Females will drop fry after about 28 days and depending on the size of the female, you can expect anything from 10 to 40+ fry.

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Spring Show 2020

14th and 15th March 2020

What’s happening?
We are holding our spring show in collaboration with our sister association – Fancy Guppies UK and as part of a new venture the British cichlid Association
The show will consist of talks, the opening leg of the Fancy Guppy league, ‘ask the expert’, Biotope displays, livebearer auction, Endler show, Livebearer and Endler shows

IBM Conference rooms,
Birmingham Rd,
CV34 5AH

Opposite the IBM offices is a Premier inn
Address: 40 Birmingham Rd, Warwick CV34 5AH, UK
Phone: +44 871 527 9320
(If this is hotel is not available, there are many other good hotels in the area).

The talks
The speakers and subjects from all groups have yet to be confirmed. (Saturday)

The Fancy Guppy League
The fancy Guppies are holding the opening leg of this year’s Fancy Guppy league.

‘Ask the Expert’
An excellent chance to find the answer to your fish related problems and participate in lively discussion with our panel of experts. (Sunday)

Biotope displays
Species to be shown in biotopes are:- yet to be announced

Show and Tell
A new feature for this event, a series of fish will on show and the audience will invited to gather round each display and discuss various related topics from husbandry to conservation with the the owner of the fish and other experts.

Livebearer show
A new area for us, this will follow the same format as for the Endler show but this time with all livebearer classes, again this is put out to the membership and we really need your participation for this to work. (Saturday)

Endler show
Following on from last year’s successful show, we will are hoping to expand on last years and make this an annual event. This will remain as an informal event where we invite you to bring in your best pair or pairs of  Endlers to display and for our judges to award points. The winners down to third place will receive a prize.

Livebearer auction
The livebearer auction will complete the day with an auction of mainly wild type species, this is the best chance to find that species you have wanted for some time. (Sunday)

The most important part of these shows is to provide the opportunity for you to meet some of our other members and discuss topics from species husbandry/breeding to tips on showing fish.

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BLA – Show rules

The exhibitor has a duty of care to ensure that the fish provided for the show are the optimum condition.

The organisers will not allow any fish into the show that is:-

  • Heavily gravid
  • Showing poor health
  • Showing signs of disease
  • Showing signs of damage
  • Showing undue distressed.

Disqualified fish will be moved to the treatment area by the exhibitor, who will be solely responsible for the provision of any and all treatment/care of the fish.

Preparing and transporting your fish for the show

  • It is a recommendation that you starve your fish for 48 hours before the show, this reduces the possibility of your fish producing waste and ammonia which can contaminate the water within the transport bag and the show tank.
  • It is a recommendation that your fish are transported in bags with rounded seals to prevent the accidental trapping of fish in the corners. If these bags are not available then tape will be used to round the corners off.
  • The bag will be large enough to hold sufficient water for the fish during the transportation to the show.
  • The bag will be tied off with a water/air ratio of one third water and 2 thirds air.
  • Fish should be bagged individually.
  • Use a suitable polystyrene box or other suitable means to transport the fish and extra water to the show.
  • Where necessary use a heat pack or other preferred method to keep your fish/water at the correct temperature.


  • Arrive in plenty of time to bench your fish, giving them sufficient time to acclimatise for showing after transportation.

Show tanks

  • All fish shall be shown in flat-sided rectangular Show tanks
  • The show tank must be of sufficient size to allow the fish freedom of movement and the ability to display at its full potential.
  • It is recommended that all Show tanks be fitted with clear loose fitting cover glasses
  • The container base should be coloured black and all other faces to be clear.


  • All Show Tanks are to be adequately filled with water
  • Wherever possible the exhibitor will provide their own water to fill their show tank.
  • The Show Organisers will not be responsible for any loss of, or adverse effect on any fish caused by the water provided at the show.


  • Aeration may be used by the exhibitor, but will be removed during judging.

Treatment area

  • Show organisers will provide a treatment area.
  • This will separate to the benching area.
  • All disqualified fish should be transferred to the triage area.
  • If this is not possible then the fish must be covered up.

The following facilities will be made available:

  • Aeration with airstone if required
  • A thermometer
  • Means of altering the water temperature.
  • A commercial stress treatment.
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Bringing your fish to auction

Preparing your fish for sale

It is preferable to starve your fish the day before bagging for the auction, this reduces the possibility of your fish producing waste and ammonia which can contaminate the water within the bag.

Water and treatments

Where possible prepare and use fresh water for your fish to reduce the possibility of contaminates that exist in aquarium water.

It is advisable to add water conditioners to reduce toxins and relieve stress such as Ammo lock or stress coat in the bag. (Please adhere to manufacturers recommendations).  

Bagging your fish

To avoid the accidental trapping of fish within the bag, it is recommended that lots are double bagged with the 2nd outer bag inverted so the neck goes into the outer bag first. This ’rounds off’ the corners & strengthens the bag. When the lot is not double bagged it is recommended that the bag has a rounded seal at the bottom or tape is used to round the corners off to ensure the corners are rounded off.

The bag needs to be large enough to maintain the fish for at least a 24 hour period and will need enough capacity to hold one third water and 2 thirds air when tied off.

Pairs or more large fish should be bagged individually and joined together securely enough that the bags cannot be accidentally separated.

Large groups of smaller fish should be in bags large enough or split in to smaller and joined together securely enough that the bags cannot be accidentally separated. 

Transporting your fish

Please use a suitable polystyrene box and if necessary use a heat pack or other preferred method to keep your fish at the correct temperature.
Labelling your bag

You will be issued a letter prior to the auction. Label all your bags with this letter and the number of that particular lot for example A1, also include the name of the fish with any relevant collection or location data and also a  reserve price should you wish to set one.

PAIRS: – fish are normally sold in pairs – so that the purchaser can breed them. Please ensure that if sold as a pair, then the fish are a true pair. If not a pair – this must be stated on the form and bag.

Auctioning of Lots

Your box of fish will be placed below the rack and opened up alongside all other boxes. Bags will be taken at random and placed on the viewing rack for the buyers to inspect, once the auctioneers are ready the fish will be removed from the rack for auctioning.

Lots that contain fish that are dead, distressed or in the opinion of the committee are not fit for sale will not be auctioned.

Lots where the fish are incorrectly bagged, for instance the bag is deflated, too small for the fish or in the opinion of the committee are not suitable for sale will be returned to the seller.

All bidding will start at the specified reserve value for the lot or £3.00 and will raise in increments of 50p up to £10.00, after the £10.00 value is reached the increments will raise by £1.00. At the end of the auction the total sales per seller will be calculated. A 15% commission per seller is deducted before the seller is paid.

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Limia melanogaster (Günther 1866)


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

melanogaster meaning black abdomen.

First description:

Gunther A, 1866 Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Salmonidae, Percopsidae, Galaxidae, Mormyridae, Gymnarchidae, socidae, Umbridae, Scombresocidae, Cyprinodontidae, in the collection of the British Museum. 


Poecilia melanogaster Günther, 1866

Lebistes melanogaster (Günther, 1866)


This species was originally classified in the genus Limia before this was made a sub-genus of Poecilia. Confusingly they have been reclassified once more into Limia, but are still referred to as members of Poecilia in much of the available literature.

Type Locality:

Not specified


Recorded in rivers near to Kingston and Spanish Town, Jamaica. Also found in other streams, lagoons and springs to the South and West of the island.


This species belongs to the subgenus Limia


Found in small shallow streams with dense vegetation over a sandy substrate.


Male 1.6″ (4cm). Female 2″ (5cm).


Black-bellied Limia has an overall grey body color with a blue sheen. Both sexes are marked with 5-8 dark vertical bars on the rear half of the body. Males have a smaller and more slender body.


Males: The male has a pale yellow dorsal fin, marked with two dark bands: one on the margin, the other on the base, the male’s caudal fin is orange with a dark band.

Females: the female has a clear fin with only one dark bar at the base. females have a large black patch on the belly                                  


Peaceful and very active


Prefers a tank with densely planted areas but also plenty of open swimming space hence the relatively large recommended tank size. Also appreciates some floating cover. Temperature should be in the range of 72-82°F (22-28°C) with a pH of 7.5-8.5

Breeding Notes:

Males are vigorous in their pursuit of the females, therefore a heavily planted tank which gives the females somewhere to hide is essential, also the addition of floating plants is also recommended.

The females can drop between 20-50 fry with a gestation period of 4-6 weeks. The fry are large enough to take newly hatched brine shrimp or powdered flake from birth.

Image result for limia melanogaster
Pair of Limia melanogaster (Black-Bellied Limia, Livebearer)

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Limia zonata (Nichols 1915)


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


First description:

Nichols, J.T. 1915. On Heterandria zonata sp. nov. and Heterandria versicolor (Günther) from the Island of Santo Domingo. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 34(20): 603–604.


Heterandria zonata Nichols, 1915

Poecilia zonata,

Common name:

The Striped Limia



Type Locality:

San Juan River at Sanchez, Samaná Province, Santo Domingo [Dominican Republic].


The island of Haiti, present in all waters, from the Zonata Peninsula to the West of the Dominican Republic.


Maimon River, Pietra Blanka – Dominican Republic


Small fast streams with little aquatic vegetation.


Male 4 cm, female 6 cm.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This species has a long body with a blunt mouth,

Colour/Pattern Variability:


A pale tan body colour with a light iridescent sheen, black bands on the flanks between the anal and caudal fin. The dorsal is yellow or orange at the base and black on the outer edge. The caudal fin is a paler yellow or orange with a line of black dots


A pale tan body colour and no visible gravid spot


Peaceful, likes to live in groups of several individuals of a dozen or more.


A well planted aquarium with open swimming space is required. The water temperature should be between 22 and 26 ° C and it is recommended than sudden temperature swings should be avoided as these fish can have an adverse reaction to them. A neutral pH of 6.8 to 7.5 and not excessively hard water is required.

Feeding is not difficult, all limias are omnivores and will eat flake, granular food, live and frozen with equal enthusiasm.

Breeding Notes:

Warmer water is recommended to trigger breeding activities. A mature female gives birth every 4 to 6 weeks, from 30 to 40 fry with a length of 7 mm, Parents are known to eat the fry so plenty of plant cover will help

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Limia perugiae (Evermann & Clark, 1906)


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

perugiae: named after Dr. Alberto Purugia

First description:

Evermann, B.W. and H.W. Clark. 1906:

New fishes from Santo Domingo. Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus., 30 (1478): 851-855.

Platypoecilus perugiae Evermann & Clark, 1906 
Poecilia perugiae (Evermann & Clark, 1906)



Type Locality:

Small stream in San Francisco Mts., Santo Domingo [Dominican Republic].


Southern slopes of Dominican Republic.


Lago Enriquillo


Found in shallow water which is generally heavily-vegetated. It can also be found in brackish conditions and even hyper-saline lakes in certain locations.


Males to 30 mm SL, females 50 mm SL.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The body shape and colour of is affected by the salinity of the water they are found in. The higher the salinity the smaller and less colourful the fish are. Body and head shape is also different with higher saline fish have a much more rounded head and a more streamlined body. 

Colour/Pattern Variability:


The Dorsal and caudal fins are pale yellow to orange depending on location, the edge of the fins is black along with some of the rays. The body colour is grey/brown colour which is offset by the way the scales catch the light and gives a metallic silver to blue sparkling effect. Stripes are visible of some males


The dorsal fin is without colour except for the black spot at the base at the back of the fin. The caudal fin is a very pale yellow/orange, all other fins are without colour. The body colour ranges from silver to pale yellow/brown with a white belly. A longitudinal zig-zag strip is also visible.


A peaceful and active fish. In the wild can usually be found in large shoals.

Water conditions:

Limia perugiae is found in warm waters, therefore a temperature range of 72º to 80º is recommended.

A pH of over 7 is required, they will be happy in harder water. (Some populations actually live in salt lakes so some populations will tolerate brackish to seawater conditions and higher).


Not difficult, all limias are omnivores and will eat will take flake, granular food, live and frozen with equal enthusiasm.

Breeding Notes:

Males are persistent in chasing females, can be bred easily in the aquarium as long as there is plenty of food and plant cover for the fry to hide in as adults will predate fry.
Gestation takes around 4 – 6 weeks and broods of up to 40 fry have been reported.

Moving the female to a well planted nursery tank will help ensure good fry numbers.

It is thought that water temperatures can affect sex ratios, with higher temperatures producing more females.

Note: The genus Limia and Poecilia can hybridise with each other so where possible keep the species apart.

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Limia vittata (Guichenot, 1853)


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


Poecilia vittata Guichenot, 1853                                                                                                      

Limia cubensis Poey, 1854                                                                                                               

Limia pavonina Poey, 1876


This species belongs to the subgenus Limia


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


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. 


Males to 50 mm SL, females to >100 mm


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. 


An active fish with a peaceful but inquisitive nature.


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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Neoheterandria elegans (HENN, 1916)

Etymology:                 Neoheterandria: from the Ancient Greek Neo meaning new, heteros, meaning ‘other, another, different’, and andros, meaning ‘male’.

elegans: from the Latin elegans, meaning fine, elegant, and handsome.

First description:        Henn, A. W., 1916 – Annals of the Carnegie Museum 10(1-2): 93-142 on various South American poeciliid fishes.

Common name            :           Tiger Teddy

Synonyms:                  None

Type Locality:                        Río Truandó,

The Río Truandó is a tributary of the Lower Río Atrato, Colombia

Distribution:               Neoheterandria elegans is only found in the type locality

Habitat:                      Found in shallow water with dense vegetation.

Size:                            Male 2.0 cm Female 2.5 cm

Colour/Pattern:          The overall base colour is an olive green with a series of black stripes on the flanks from below the dorsal fin to the caudal fin. The amount of stripes is different for each fish and range from 6 to 9, the stripes themselves can vary in thickness depending on the individual but the stripe directly above the anal fin is notably darker and thicker than the others and highlighted by a surrounding golden colour. The belly below the lateral line is silver/white.

Unpaired fins start out similar to the base colour of the body and as they spread out the colour fads and becomes a pale grey colour with more pronounced grey/blue edge.

Behaviour:                  Tiger teddies are a shy species that appears to do better in a species only setup, given a well planted aquarium that is heavily planted will bring them out, can be kept with dwarf corydoras and ottocinclus type fish and also shrimp are good companions.

Larger females can have a tendency to be aggressive.

Husbandry:                 Neoheterandria elegans can be kept in a smaller aquarium with dense vegetation. They only require minimal water movement so a sponge filter or similar is required. Water parameters are not too much of an issue with minimal hardness preferred with a ph. over 7 and a temperature of between 24 and 28 °C.

Water changes should be done regularly with 25% to 50% being changed weekly.

Neoheterandria elegans is a micro predator and will need small live or frozen foods to thrive, microworms, grindall worms and artemia nauplii. Will take crushed flake. They do have small superior mouths (opens upward) which means they will struggle to feed from the substrate.

Breeding Notes:         This species use the same method of reproduction as Heterandria formosa known as ‘superfoetation’ (superfetation in some literature) this is where the female can have multiple pregnancies at different stages of development running at the same time. The female appears to be constantly pregnant and will drop up to two fry every couple of days or so.

A mature sponge filter is a good idea to provide gentle circulation and infusoria supply. A good supply of infusoria supplemented with regular feeds of brine shrimp nauplii or small worms such as Walter worms will aid the growth of the fry.

The fry will grow fairly quickly and reach sexual maturity in as little as three months.

References:                Henn, A. W., 1916 – Annals of the Carnegie Museum 10(1-2): 93-142 on various South American poeciliid fishes.

Wischnath, L., 1993 – Atlas of livebearers of the world.

Seriously fish                           


                                    Chicago Livebearer society    

                                    Breeding Tiger TeddiesPetcha

Photograph taken from the Old British livebearers website with the permission of Tim Addis

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Girardinus metallicus (Poey, 1854)

Etymology:                 Girardinus after the French – American ichthyologist Charles Girard

metallicus referring to the metallic body colouration.

First description:        Poey F. 1854.

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

Girardinus pygmaeus Rivas 1944

Type Locality:                        Botanic Gardens, Havana, Cuba.

Distribution:               Costa Rica, Throughout Cuba, except easternmost area at 200-300 m elevation.

History:                      Reports suggest the first import for the aquarium trade was made in 1906 by W. Schroot of Hamburg.

Habitat:                      It can be found in streams, ponds and ditches. The water is commonly stagnant and often brackish.

Inhabits ponds, lakes and streams. Prefers clear, stagnant or very sluggish water.

Size:                            Male 5.0 cm, Female 9.0 cm

Description                 Girardinus 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.

Colour/Pattern:          There 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 head.

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 lateral line.

 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.

Behaviour:                  Peaceful, will predate fry. Likes to swim in the upper part of water column

Husbandry:                 Water 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.

Breeding 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 world.

Seriously fish                                       


Lee, D.S., S.P. Platania and G.H. Burgess, 1983. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes

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