Xiphophorus hellerii “Jalapa”

5. January 2022

When you first see this slender, splendidly colored swordtail wild form, you involuntarily think: this is no X. hellerii! And yet, when X. hellerii was first described in 1848, exactly such animals became the type specimens. The traveler of the royal imperial horticultural society Karl Heller discovered and collected the animals in clear streams of the mountain Orizaba in Mexico (the highest mountain of Mexico and third highest of North America) and was already enthusiastic about the colorfulness of the fish at that time. At that time, however, aquaristics did not yet exist, so Heller could only send his new discovery to Vienna dead and faded in alcohol.

About 50 years later, in 1902, Meek described the Jalapa swordtail again under the name Xiphophorus jalapae, which is of course a younger synonym for the typical X. hellerii. On the other hand, it’s not so sure whether the “ordinary” Green Swordtail, which we have in the aquarium since 1909, is actually the same species as the “real” X. hellerii (the Jalapa form).

In comparison to “ordinary” green swordtails, the colors of the Jalapa swordtail look like painted on the body with neon pencils. They are really wonderful fish. Regarding care and breeding the Jalapa swordtails do not differ however from the “usual” green swordtails.

We get our specimens from a German breeder. 

For our customers: the animals have code 476595 on our stocklist. Please note that we only deliver to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer