Xiphophorus variatus Rio Coacuilco

22. March 2023

Again we can offer the friends of livebearers a special treat: Xiphophorus variatus Rio Coacuilco is a wild form of the variable platyfish that has only recently become available in the hobby.  The Rio Coacuilco (unfortunately we originally made a typo when adding the species to our stock list, the spelling of the river used here is the correct one) is a very fast flowing, small river in the state of Hidalgo in Mexico, where also the swordtail species X. birchmanni occurs. The Rio Coacuilco is part of the Río Pánuco system.

Variable platys are known to be very variable in coloration, even within a population. This is also true for the Rio Coacuilco form. Normally the fish are pale lilac with black speckles; the males always have a “pregnancy spot”, a band in the dorsal fin and rather pale vertical stripes on the flanks. In courtship the males become very beautiful: the chest turns yellow-orange, the tiger pattern becomes intense and two dark bands appear in the caudal fin.

We have also made a small film about these fish, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAhLK5fCkb4

For our customers: the animals have code 442988 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer