Poecilia latipinna - (Lesueur, 1821)
Sailfin Molly
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Poecilia latipinna (Lesueur, 1821) (TSN 165898)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102340
Element Code: AFCNC04020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Other Bony Fishes
Image 50

© Noel Burkhead

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cyprinodontiformes Poeciliidae Poecilia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Poecilia latipinna
Taxonomic Comments: This species and P. petenensis and P. velifera may be a single polytypic species. Included in order Cyprinodontiformes by Parenti (1981).

See Breden et al. (1999) for a molecular phylogeny of Poecilia.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20Sep1996
Global Status Last Changed: 20Sep1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (05Dec1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S2), Arizona (SNA), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Louisiana (S5), Mississippi (S5), Nevada (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), North Carolina (S2?), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (S5)
Canada Alberta (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Atlantic and Gulf Coast drainages from Cape Fear drainage, North Carolina, to Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), including nearly all of Florida peninsula (where abundant); restricted to coastal areas in most of range, ranges farther inland in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas (Page and Burr 1991). Introduced in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and possibly other areas.

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of subpopulations and locations.

Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but relatively large.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.

Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable or slowly declining.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Atlantic and Gulf Coast drainages from Cape Fear drainage, North Carolina, to Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), including nearly all of Florida peninsula (where abundant); restricted to coastal areas in most of range, ranges farther inland in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas (Page and Burr 1991). Introduced in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and possibly other areas.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AZexotic, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, NMexotic, NVexotic, SC, TX
Canada ABexotic

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Cape Fear (03030005), Northeast Cape Fear (03030007), Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207), Cooper (03050201), South Carolina Coastal (03050202), Edisto (03050205), Broad-St. Helena (03050208), Lower Savannah (03060109), Ogeechee Coastal (03060204), Satilla (03070201), Cumberland-St. Simons (03070203), St. Marys (03070204), Nassau (03070205), Upper St. Johns (03080101), Oklawaha (03080102), Lower St. Johns (03080103), Daytona - St. Augustine (03080201), Cape Canaveral (03080202), Vero Beach (03080203), Kissimmee (03090101), Northern Okeechobee Inflow (03090102), Western Okeechobee Inflow (03090103), Lake Okeechobee (03090201), Everglades (03090202), Florida Bay-Florida Keys (03090203), Big Cypress Swamp (03090204), Caloosahatchee (03090205), Peace (03100101), Myakka (03100102), Charlotte Harbor (03100103), Sarasota Bay (03100201), Manatee (03100202), Little Manatee (03100203), Alafia (03100204), Hillsborough (03100205), Tampa Bay (03100206), Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207), Withlacoochee (03100208), Waccasassa (03110101), Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102), Aucilla (03110103), Upper Suwannee (03110201), Little (03110204), Lower Suwannee (03110205), Santa Fe (03110206), Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001), Lower Ochlockonee (03120003), Apalachicola (03130011), New (03130013), Apalachicola Bay (03130014), St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101), Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102), Yellow (03140103), Blackwater (03140104), Pensacola Bay (03140105), Perdido (03140106), Perdido Bay (03140107), Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203), Escambia (03140305), Mobile - Tensaw (03160204), Mobile Bay (03160205), Pascagoula (03170006), Escatawpa (03170008), Mississippi Coastal (03170009), Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)
08 Lower Red (08040301)*, Lower Mississippi-Baton Rouge (08070100)*, Amite (08070202), Tickfaw (08070203), Lake Maurepas (08070204), Lower Grand (08070300), Bayou Teche (08080102), Vermilion (08080103), Mermentau Headwaters (08080201), Mermentau (08080202)*, West Fork Calcasieu (08080205), Lower Calcasieu (08080206)*, Lower Mississippi-New Orleans (08090100)*, Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)*, Lake Pontchartrain (08090202), Eastern Louisiana Coastal (08090203), East Central Louisiana Coastal (08090301)*, West Central Louisiana Coastal (08090302)*
12 Lower Sabine (12010005), Lower Trinity (12030203), West Fork San Jacinto (12040101), Buffalo-San Jacinto (12040104), Sabine Lake (12040201), East Galveston Bay (12040202), Lower Brazos-Little Brazos (12070101), San Gabriel (12070205), Austin-Travis Lakes (12090205), Lower Colorado-Cummins (12090301), Upper Guadalupe (12100201), Middle Guadalupe (12100202), Upper San Antonio (12100301), Medina (12100302), Lower San Antonio (12100303), Cibolo (12100304), Aransas (12100407), Upper Frio (12110106), Hondo (12110107), Lower Frio (12110108), San Miguel (12110109), Atascosa (12110110), South Laguna Madre (12110208)
13 International Falcon Reservoir (13080003), Los Olmos (13090001), Lower Rio Grande (13090002)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Internal fertilization. Live bearer. Female capable of storing sperm. Large female can produce up to 141 young (Moyle 1976). In east-central Florida, reproduction peaks in May-June and August-September (Snelson 1984). Individuals may breed in the year in which they were born.
Ecology Comments: Females may greatly outnumber males (Moyle 1976). Sedentary.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Tidal flat/shore
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Fresh, brackish, and salt waters along coast; springs, lakes and ponds, backwaters and pools of streams, drainage ditches, and salt marshes in Florida. Irrigation canals in southern California. Around springs in quieter water with little temperature fluctuation in Texas. Warm-adapted; can tolerate salinities up to 87 ppt (Sublette et al. 1990) and can tolerate waterways degraded by sewage and industrial effluents (Felley and Daniels 1992).
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly algae, vascular plants, organic detritus, and mosquito larvae (and other small invertebrates). Thrives best in isolated pools or organically enriched waters where there are few other fish species (Minckley 1973).
Length: 15 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Popular aquarium fish.
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Livebearers (Poeciliids)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Each spring system that is undivided by a barrier constitutes a single distinct occurrence. Otherwise, use a separation distance of 10 km for any type of aquatic habitat.
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Sep1993
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Breden, F., M. B. Ptacek, M. Rashed, D. Taphorn, and C. A. Figueiredo. 1999. Molecular phylogeny of the live-bearing fish genus Poecilia (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 12:95-104.

  • Felley, J. D., and G. L. Daniels. 1992. Life history of the sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna) in two degraded waterways of southwestern Louisiana. Southwestern Naturalist 37:16-21.

  • Meffe, G. K., and F. F. Snelson, Jr., editors. 1989. Ecology and evolution of livebearing fishes (Poeciliidae). Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 453 pp.

  • Minckley, W. L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, Arizona. 293 pp.

  • Moyle, P. B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, California. 405 pp.

  • Moyle, P. B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. Revised and expanded. University of California Press, Berkeley. xv + 502 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Parenti, L. R. 1981. A phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of cyprinodontiform fishes (Teleostei, Atherinomorpha). Bulletin of the American Museum Natural History 168:335-557.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Snelson, F. F., Jr. 1984. Seasonal maturation and growth of males in a natural population of Poecilia latipinna. Copeia 1984:252-255.

  • Sublette, J. E., M. D Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 393 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • Douglas, N. H. 1974. Freshwater fishes of Louisiana. Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 443 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • Ross, S. T., and W. M. Brenneman. 1991. Distribution of freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Freshwater Fisheries Report No. 108. D-J Project Completion Report F-69. Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Parks. Jackson, Mississippi. 548 pp.

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