Southern Platy Information & Care

Back to Freshwater Aquarium Fish Species
Fish Type Live-bearing
Fish Family Platies & Swordtails
Common Name Southern Platy
Scientific Name Xiphophorus maculatus

The southern platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus) is a species of freshwater fish in family Poecilidae of order Cyprinodontiformes.

A live-bearer, it is closely related to the green swordtail (X. helleri) and can interbreed with it. It is native to an area of North and Central America stretching from Veracruz, Mexico, to northern Belize.

The southern platyfish grows to a maximum overall length of 6.0 cm (2.4 in).

Sexual dimorphism is slight, the male's caudal fin being more pointed. Wild varieties are drab in coloration, lacking the distinctive dark lateral line common to many Xiphophorus species.

X. maculatus prefers slow-moving waters of canals, ditches, and warm springs. Omnivorous, its diet includes both plants and small crustaceans, insects, and worms.

Breeders have developed a multitude of color varieties which are common aquarium fish for hobbyists.