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Xiphophorus hellerii  Heckel, 1848

Green swordtail
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Xiphophorus hellerii
Picture by Aland, G.


Australia country information

Common names: Swordtail
Occurrence: introduced
Salinity: freshwater
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Recorded from Clohesy River, Barron River Catchment, Queensland; they have got into a number of waterways including small streams in Brisbane and in the Clohesy River; apparently prefer anabranches (zero flow) in the Clohesy River rather than being in the flowing river, maybe due to competitive pressures and predation by species such as H. fuliginosus and L. unicolour. (Glynn Aland, pers. Comm.). Recently discovered in the Irwin River, approxiamtely 65 km SE of Geraldton, WA. Present in the country since 1960s; resulting escape into the wild due to disposal or intentional release of aquarium pets, or possibly flooding of outdoor ponds (Ref. 44894).
National Checklist:
Country Information: httpss://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority: https://www.csiro.au/
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Welcomme, R.L., 1988
National Database:

Classification / Names

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cyprinodontiformes (Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers) > Poeciliidae (Poeciliids) > Poeciliinae
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Common names from other countries

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 14.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26130); 16.0 cm TL (female); common length : 2.8 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193)

Environment

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 19; non-migratory

Climate / Range

Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 52054), preferred ?; 26°N - 12°N

Distribution

North and Central America: Rio Nantla, Veracruz in Mexico to northwestern Honduras. Africa: Feral populations reported from Natal and eastern Transvaal as well as in Lake Otjikoto, Namibia (Ref. 7248). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-14; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 8 - 10. This species is distinguished by having a medium to large swordtail with a long straight caudal appendage; midlateral stripe may be dusky or brownish (northern populations) or red; 2 additional reddish stripes may be present above midlateral line and one beneath; terminal segment of gonopodial ray 3 produced into a crescent-shaped hook and blade pointed distally; ray 4a curves strongly backward over the blade at an angle greater than 90°; distal serrae of ray 4p reduced in size and number and proximal serrae rather slender; terminal segment of ray 5a produced into a claw, several times larger than the distal serrae of ray 4p (Ref. 52914).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults are found mainly in rapidly flowing streams and rivers, preferring heavily vegetated habitats (Ref. 26130). They occur in warm springs and their effluents, weedy canals and ponds (Ref. 5723). They feed on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter (Ref. 7020). Used for genetics research (Ref. 4537). Especially the red varieties are very popular aquarium fishes (Ref. 1672). Aquarium keeping: the males aggressive towards each other; minimum aquarium size 80 cm (Ref. 51539).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Potential pest



Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: highly commercial

More information

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Internet sources

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
3.2   ±0.43 se; Based on food items.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm<1; Fec=20-200 * 12)

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
Low vulnerability (16 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown