- Green swordtail
name = Green Swordtail
status = secure
phylum = Chordata
genus = "
species = "X. hellerii"
binomial = "Xiphophorus hellerii"
binomial_authority = Heckel, 1848:"For the genus of butterflies commonly known as swordtails, see
The Green swordtail ("Xiphophorus hellerii") is a
speciesof freshwater fishin family Poecilidaeof order Cyprinodontiformes. It is also called Red swordtail. A live-bearer, it is closely related to the southern platyfishor "platy" ("X. maculatus") and can interbreed with it. It is native to an area of North and Central Americastretching from Veracruz, Mexico, to northwestern Honduras.
The male green swordtail grows to a maximum overall length of 14cm (5.5in) and the female to 16 cm (6.3 in).The name "swordtail" is commonly but mistakenly believed to be derived form the elongated lower lobe of the male's
caudal fin(tailfin), but is actually derived from the sword shaped anal fin of the male. Sexual dimorphismis moderate, with the female being larger than the male but lacking the "sword". The wild form is olive green in color, with a red or brown lateral stripe and speckles on the dorsal and, sometimes, caudal fins. The male's "sword" is yellow, edged in black below. Captive breeding has produced many color varieties, including black, red, and many patterns thereof, for the aquarium hobby.
The green swordtail prefers swift-flowing, heavily-vegetated rivers and streams, but is also found in warm springs and canals. Omnivorous, its diet includes both plants and small
crustaceans, insects, and annelidworms.
"X. hellerii" has become a nuisance pest as an
introduced speciesin a number of countries. It has caused ecological damage because of its ability to rapidly reproduce in high numbers. Feral populations have established themselves in southern Africa, including Natal and eastern Transvaalin South Africaand Lake Otjikotoin Namibia. Significant populations have also established themselves along the east coast of Australia.
One of the most popular
tropical aquariumfish, the green swordtail has been bred into various hybrid forms for the aquarium hobby due to its hardiness and suitability for community tanks.
The green swordtail, as the most common of the swordtail species (and in recognition of the fact that many captive-bred color varieties are not green), is typically known simply as the swordtail in the aquarium hobby. It is often designated "X. helleri" (with one "i"), but authorities consider this an orthographic error and the spelling with two "i"s is the valid specific epithet. Due to interbreeding with the
southern platyfishor "platy" most "swordtail" in the aquarium are hybrids to some degree.
The males' elongated caudal fins have been found to significantly affect their chances at mating. The presence of a well-endowed male spurs the maturity of females while it inhibits the maturity of juvenile males in the vicinity of the well-endowed male.cite news | title =In the science of sexual attraction, size matters | work =Yahoo! Science News | language =english | publisher =Yahoo! Inc | date =
2007-02-13| url =http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070214/sc_nm/science_size_dc_1 | accessdate = 2007-02-14 ] cite news | last =Choi | first =Charles Q. | title =Male Bling Makes Female Fish Mature Faster | work =LiveScience Animaldomain | publisher =Imaginova Corp. | date = 2007-02-13| url =http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/070213_sight_sex.html | accessdate = 2007-02-14 ] cite news | last =Choi | first =Charles Q. | title =Male Bling Makes Female Fish Mature Faster | work =Yahoo! Science News | publisher =Yahoo!, Inc. | date = 2007-02-13
url =http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20070214/sc_livescience/maleblingmakesfemalefishmaturefaster | accessdate = ]
* [http://sogua.mamakcorner.com/81/swordtail-fish/ Swordtail fish]
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