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This profile was written by Bunny an active contributor to the site.
Central America: Costa Rica, Cuba. Occurs in clear, slow-flowing or still water ditches, lakes, ponds and streams.
General Body Form:
Streamlined head and body. Dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fins are medium length and rounded. Mouth is superior. Females have longer, deeper, more rounded bodies with rounded anal fins. Males have smaller, shorter, more laterally compressed bodies with a long, pointed gonopodium.
Bodies and heads range between translucent silver, pale gold or olive. Iridescent silver diamond-shaped bars along the lateral line. Dorsal fin has a black spot at the bottom center 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. Males faces feature black blotches and their mouths and undersides of their chins, chests, stomachs, gonopodiums and tails are lined in black.
Easy—Prolific. Sexual dimorphism: Males have a large tubular anal fin called a gonopodium. Dominant males are smaller than others and generally have brighter colors. Submissive males are slightly larger and not as colorful. Mature females are fuller-bodied, larger and have muted colors. Males inseminate females using their gonopodium. After she is inseminated, a dark gravid spot appears at the base of the female's anal fin. Typically in the morning of the 28th day roughly 5 to 30 fry are born over the course of an hour. Females can store sperm for up to a year and can have fry every 28 days, even without the presence of a male. Fry must either have baby grass to escape into or must be removed to avoid predation by adults. Feed crushed flake food, brine shrimp nauplii, cooked egg yolk and spirulina for robust growth. Fry are sexually mature within 3 to 8 weeks.
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