Xiphophorus meyeri (update)

3. February 2023

The Marble Platy (Xiphophorus meyeri) is one of the rarest species on earth. It was known only from a small area in Mexico, where it was found only in very few places. The species is already considered extinct in the wild. As with its close relative, the Monterrey Platy (X. couchianus), it was the increasing water consumption in the region that caused the few occurrences to dry up.

So it is very good that some aquarium fish enthusiasts breed and propagate this – compared to the colorful cultivated forms – less attractive fish and thus at least preserve it for posterity. From time to time a few specimens come to us in this way. Our now offered fish are German offspring. This wild platy grows to about 3 cm (male) and 4 cm (female). Care and breeding are roughly similar to the well known parrot platy (Xiphophorus variatus), but X. meyeri is not very productive.

There is a conservation breeding program for X. meyeri, also known as Northern Platy. The head of the program wrote to us:

I just thought it might be interesting for you to know that Xiphophorus meyeri is extinct in the wild (last seen in 1997). This was published in the IUCN Red List in 2019. Just in case you want to update your information.

I am coordinating a conservation breeding programme for northern platyfish since 2018 and we are working hard to reintroduce the species one day – with major help from hobbyists. But that’s not relevant, it only explains why I care. I believe that people should know when they keep a species which is extinct in the wild…

Best regards,


Markéta Rejlková

Curator of aquarium/terrarium

Zoo Ostrava

Michálkovická 197

710 00 Ostrava

Czech Republic

Many thanks for this info! This is – also against the background of a planned EU-wide positive list, which wants to prohibit the private keeping of wild animals in principle – very interesting! The EU would decide with a positive list by law the eradication of X. meyeri, because this relatively inconspicuous and demanding species would certainly not be included on the positive list!

For our customers: the fish have code 476532 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in small numbers only!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer