Xiphophorus hellerii
Heckel 1848
Family Poeciliidae

Lateral view of a green swordtail
The photo above shows a male, top, and a female, bottom, green swordtail. The male swordtail is now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 237873. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The green swordtail is a member of the livebearer family. It has a compressed, moderately elongate body, and a triangular head when viewed in profile. This species has an upturned mouth, and the teeth and both jaws are conical and in two series. The lower lobe of caudal fin of the male has a well-developed “swordtail.” Green swordtails can be found in creeks and roadside ditches with slow to sluggish current and aquatic vegetation.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Native freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Western and North Central and Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — Choctawhatchee River, Tampa Bay the Everglades and the Indian River
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