Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Poecilia wingei

Endlers livebearer

Endlers livebearer, Poecilia wingeiEndlers livebearer, Poecilia wingei
Photos by Andy Rapson


Poecilia: Greek, poikilos = with a lot of colours

General Notes:

Poecilia wingei is a small peaceful livebearer which makes a great community fish when housed with other small peaceful fish. Very easy to keep and quite undemanding about their conditions. Although they do prefer to be kept in hard alkaline water rather than soft acidic water. There is still much debate about whether Poecilia wingei, is actually just a race of Poecilia reticulata rather than a separate species. There is little difference between the two fish and they will interbreed and produce fertile fry. According to the author of Aquarium Care for Fancy Guppies the classification of Poecilia wingei was given to this fish for reasons of conservation and it is really just a variation of  Poecilia reticulata.


Wild Poecilia wingei feed on primarily on small aquatic inverts such as crustaceans, insect larva, worms and terrestrial insects. In captivity they are unfussy and will eat flake food, granular food, freeze dried food and live or frozen food. They will also graze on algae.


Females are much larger than males and have no bright colours. Males are smaller and very brightly coloured and have a highly modified anal fin which allow them to internally fertilise the female.


Poecilia wingei, Endlers livebearer is a livebearer, this means that the female carries the eggs internally until the fry hatch and use up their yolk sac. So when the fry are finally born they are free swimming and fully independant. Neither parent protects the brood once born and may even prey on them. In captivity Poecilia wingei is very prolific and easy to breed. They shouldn't be housed with guppies because the two fish will interbreed ruining the bloodlines of both fish.

Wild status

Although the wild population of Poecilia wingei has not been evaluated it is thought to be almost extinct in their original range due to loss of habitat and over exploitation. But they have been widely introduced in to other areas.

Information at a glance

pH: 7 - 8.4
dGH: 5 - 25
Temperature: 24 - 27°C (75 - 80°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: ♂ 2.5cm (1in), ♀ 4.5cm (1.75in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Endlers livebearer, Poecilia wingei

Origin: South America: Campoma- and Buena Vista Lagoons in Venezuela.

Habitat: Varied habitat from ditches, brackish lagoons to heavily vegetated ponds. Rivers and streams.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
Family: Poeciliidae
Genus: Poecilia
Species: P. wingei, Poeser, Kempkes & Isbrücker, 2005

Common name:
Endlers livebearer

Synonyms: None