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Poecilia latipinna
Image courtesy of United States Geological Survey
Poecilia latipinna
Taxonomic Group: Fishes
Common name: SAILFIN MOLLY


Sailfin Mollies (Poecilia latipinna) are small live-bearing fish native to the Gulf Coast and the East Coast from the Cape Fear drainage in North Carolina to Cape Canaveral, Florida. They are a popular aquarium fish and have established populations in coastal habitats in California, Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Queensland, Australia, and the Bahamas. They were introduced through aquarium releases but also introduced for insect biocontrol and raised as a baitfish for tuna. They can colonize a wide range of habitats in warm-temperate and subtropical climates, and is especially capable of utilizing modified habitats, such as ditches, canals, water tanks, and disturbed marshes. The Sailfin Mollies have shown aggressive behavior towards other fishes, such as California Killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis), Bahama Pupfish (Cyprinodon laciniatus), and desert pupfishes (Cyprinodon spp.). But many native fishes also prey upon them.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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