This highly variable, widely distributed species has given rise to a vast array of cultivated varieties (many through hybridization), the best known of which is the Black. Molly. According to some authorities, it is the closely related—and very similar — P. mexicana (Atlantic Molly) that is the true ancestor of the aquarium strains. The confusion seems to have arisen because both species were once regarded as one and the same. The Liberty Molly, a form of Sphenops Molly, possesses a short but very attractively colored and patterned dorsal fin. Both P. mexicana and Sphenops Molly hybridize with P. latipinna (Sailfin Molly) and P. velifera (Yucatan Molly).
Other common names
- Green/Black/Liberty/ Mexican/Pointed-mouth Molly
- From Texas south as far as Colombia; also introduced elsewhere.
- Males around 2 1/2in (6cm); females around 3 1/4in (8cm).
- Peaceful shoaler.
- Wide range of foods accepted; a vegetable component is essential.
- Spacious, planted, with some open swimming space. Alkaline, medium-hard water with 1 teaspoonful aquarium salt per 1 Imp. gal (1 1/5 U.S. gal/ 4.5 I) important for long- term health. Temperature range: 77-82 F (25-28 C).
- Broods of around 80 fry produced every 5-7 weeks.