Tag Archives: mexicana

Poecilia mexicana “Campeche”

8. October 2021

The wild mollies are – from a zoological-systematic point of view – certainly one of the most difficult fish groups at all. Not without reason, science has been wavering between two extreme views for over 100 years: the first states that all wild mollies belong to only one, highly variable species, which would then be called Poecilia sphenops, others assign the so far 33 scientifically described forms to 12 species. In addition there are still undescribed species. In short: it is very difficult.

This is due to the fact that all species are polymorphic and polychromatic. So: in each population there is a whole set of color and body variants. It is therefore impossible to define them in such a way that the determination of single specimens can be successful, one must always examine large series of wild catches (50 or more specimens), in order to be able to come to a decision concerning the species. By the way, the matter is not made easier by the fact that wild mollies, just like guppys and gambuses, were released quite arbitrarily for mosquito control until the 1950s.

The species Poecilia mexicana and P. sphenops do not differ appreciably externally. P. sphenops has single-pointed teeth, P. mexicana has three-pointed teeth, and there are minor differences in the structure of the mating organ of the males. Both species have a vast natural range and have additionally been displaced by humans, so knowing the origin does not help in identification either.

Campeche is a Mexican state that covers much of the western part of the Yucatan Peninsula. The ancestors of the strain of P. mexicana, which we can now offer from time to time for several years from Asian pond breedings, originate from there. The beautiful and easy-to-care-for mollies have as a special attraction that the males can change color in a flash. In highest excitement they are deep blue-black, relaxed males are like the females light olive green with blue shiny scales. Not all, but most males develop an orange fringe in the caudal fin, the color intensity of which is controlled in part by social position.

Usually the Mexico Molly reaches a size of 4-6 cm, as does the Black Molly, in whose ancestry it is also represented, by the way. But sometimes giant growth can occur with these fish, then giants of over 10 cm length have been observed. 

For our customers: the animals have code 280558 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Black Molly = Black Molly?

19. January 2019

Sometimes we also take a closer look at the everyday species; one tends to judge fish like the Black Molly in trade only according to the aspects: 1. are the fish healthy and stable? and 2. are they well grown? 

But Black Molly is certainly not the same as Black Molly. Depending on which wild species dominates in the respective strain – as is well known, Black Mollys were created by multiple crosses of different species, whereby the blacklings (Melanos) that already occur sporadically in nature were crossed into existing aquarium strains of Molly species – they sometimes differ considerably from each other.

Currently we offer e.g. Black Mollys from Sri Lanka, which are very similar to the wild species Poecilia latipinna. Especially beautiful here are dominant males, which have a red seam along the magnificent dorsal fin.

Another Black Molly form we get from Vietnam. It is closer to the species Poecilia sphenops and P. mexicana, the dorsal fin is much smaller than in the one mentioned before. The alpha males develop an orange border along the caudal fin, which is very attractive.

Not as Black Molly, but as Black Velifera one calls the splendid animals, which come after the species Poecilia velifera. They are clearly larger than the other Black Mollys. 

For our customers: Black Mollys from Sri Lanka have code 432003, those from Vietnam 432132 and black velifera 433004 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Poecila mexicana Campeche

23. August 2017

The wild mollys from Central America were always and will stay an enigma for generations of scientists. In each brook the fish look somewhat different. And as if that would not be eough, they also have within every population different shaped males: small and slender early ripe male, large and deep bodies late ripe males and males that are somewhere in between. So it isn´t sure at all, if the splendid fish we can offer now  – they were bred in Southeast Asia – really belong to the species P. mexicana or to P. sphenops or to P. limantouri. However, from a practical point of view these questions are rather irrelevant. 

It is very important to supply always the additional term „Campeche“ – this is the locality where the initial stock has been collected – for otherwise unwanted crosses cannot be excluded.

These wild type mollys are a real challenge for hobby breeders. In contrast to Black Mollys, Silver Mollys and so on the young fish grow extremely slowly. But the adult fish reward the keeper with their lively behaviour and the brillant colours. By the way: the ability to change the coloration is breathtaking. Within seconds the males change from the silvery neutral pattern to the blue-black display-pattern. If the fish are disturebed they can become pale at a glimpse. But the good news is: after only a few days of settling the fish only hardly can become disturbed….

For our customers: the animals have code 280558 on our stocklist. Please note that we xclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer