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Poecilia latipinna
(Lesueur 1821)
Family Poeciliidae

Lateral view of sailfin molly
The photo above shows a male, top, and female, bottom, sailfin molly. These fish are now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 235875. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The sailfin molly is a member of the livebearer family. It has a deep body, an extremely deep caudal peduncle and a flattened head that is triangular when viewed in profile. This species has an upturned mouth with between five and seven rows of dark brown spots, and iridescent yellow flecks on the side. Large males have a huge sail-like dorsal fin with an orange edge. Sailfin molly can be found in lakes, ponds and sloughs, and in pools and backwaters of creeks and small rivers. It can be found in brackish and freshwater, and is sometimes common in spring effluents.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Native freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Western and North Central and Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — Perdido River, Escambia River, Choctawhatchee River, Apalachicola River, Ochlockonee River, minor Gulf tributaries, Suwannee River, Withlacoochee River, Tampa Bay, the Myakka or Peace River, Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee River, the Everglades, Indian River, the Tolomato or Matanzas River, St. John’s River and the St. Mary’s River
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