Dalmatian Lyretail Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

Last updated on August 4th, 2022 at 01:33 am

According to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, The dalmatian lyretail molly (Poecilia latipinna) is among the most beautiful freshwater fishes in the world.

The dalmatian lyretail molly is an aquarium fish that belongs to the Poeciliidae family and it’s commonly referred to as dalmatian molly or just molly. It’s one of the most common fish species in the aquarium trade and can be found in many pet stores around the world

This fish can be found in relatively shallow waters of Mexico and Guatemala and has been bred in captivity by hobbyists around the world as part of their freshwater aquariums.

Socialize your dalmatian lyretail molly with other fish! They are very social creatures, so they will feel lonely if you do not introduce them to other tank mates of the same species.

If you cannot find any more mollies, you may introduce them to their cousin, the sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna). This works best if you have a large tank, as sailfin mollies are larger than dalmatian lyretail mollies and can bully them if they are kept in small spaces.

Origin and descriptions

Poecilia latipinna, commonly known as the dalmatian lyretail molly, is native to the fresh and brackish waters of Mexico and Central America. It gets its name from the spots on its body. The coloration of this fish makes it an excellent pet fish, though it can also be found in aquariums around the world.

The Dalmatian lyretail molly, scientifically known as Poecilia latipinna, is a relatively new species of molly fish. They were first discovered in 1997 by Dr. Stanley Weitzman and his graduate student, Christopher Degnan, who were both biologists at Texas A&M University.

This species was named after its resemblance to dogs from Disney’s animated movie 101 Dalmatians. This species can be found in freshwater rivers and streams throughout Mexico and Central America.

Their coloration ranges from black or brown with yellow spots to white with black spots on their sides; they have large fins that resemble those of dalmatians, hence their name. The males are larger than females; they grow up to 5 inches long while females only grow up to 3 inches long.

Poecilia sphenops (Marble Lyretail Molly)

Species profile

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

The dalmatian lyretail molly belongs to the family Poeciliidae. The family Poeciliidae are a group of live-bearing fishes. This species is native to Mexico and Texas in North America. It can be found in freshwater, brackish water, coastal marine waters, estuaries, and hypersaline lagoons.

They are found at depths from 0 – 50 meters deep. They can grow up to 13 cm long. Their average lifespan is 2 years but they can live up to 3 years. They eat zooplankton, insects, and other invertebrates. In captivity, their diet should include bloodworms, brine shrimp nauplii, and tubifex worms.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the dalmatian lyretail molly is Poecilia latipinna


Dalmatian lyretail mollies hail from Mexico and can be found in rivers, estuaries, and ponds. They are very hardy fish that do not require fancy conditions to thrive. In their native habitat, they live in relatively clear brackish water with an abundance of vegetation. This makes them a great choice for beginner aquarists as well as seasoned hobbyists looking for a low-maintenance pet.

To make sure your fish is happy and healthy, it’s important to provide him or her with plenty of oxygenated water at a temperature between 74°F–82°F (23°C–28°C). Feeding them a variety of high-quality foods will help keep your pet happy and healthy!


These fish species can grow up to 5 inches (13 cm) in length.

Dalmatian lyretail molly tank size

Because they love to swim a lot, the minimum recommended tank size for this fish is 20 gallons (76 liters).

Tank requirements

The Dalmatian lyretail molly, a popular aquarium fish that hails from coastal regions of southern Texas, needs a water temperature between 72 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH level between 7.0 and 8.0.

They cannot tolerate rapid changes in temperature or fluctuations in water chemistry, so keep your tank well-maintained to prevent major imbalances and stress to your fish. In addition to stable water conditions, you’ll need an aquarium filter for biological filtration and carbon dioxide injection for healthy plant growth.

Poecilia velifera (Giant Sailfin Molly)

Mollies are omnivores, so you’ll also need plenty of high-quality plant matter like algae wafers or lettuce leaves for grazing. And don’t forget about live food—the dalmatian lyretail molly will eagerly gobble up brine shrimp nauplii as a source of protein!

Tank mates

Poecilia latipinna is a smaller species, but it’s quite fast. It will act as food for larger cichlids and aggressive species. You should keep them with small community fish that aren’t very aggressive in terms of body size or aggression level. They are relatively peaceful and they can be kept in groups, too.

Some good tank mates are small tetras, danios, rasboras, and guppies. Avoid keeping them with other mollies as they may hybridize. They can also be kept with other Poecilia species like Poecilia mexicana or Poecilia velifera without any problems.


Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

Dalmatian lyretail mollies are some of the most beginner-friendly fish on the market. They are livebearers and can be bred in a large aquarium, or even a breeding tank as small as 20 gallons. However, they tend to grow quite large and will need an appropriately sized aquarium or pond in which to live.

You can also purchase young Dalmatians that have already been born and raised by other fish keepers. These fish are very resilient and will adapt well to life in captivity. As long as you provide them with ample space, food, and clean water, they should thrive.

When it comes time for breeding, your female Dalmatian lyretail molly will release her eggs into your aquarium or tank—usually during daylight hours when there is light present—and then she’ll clean them up after they’ve been fertilized by your male Dalmatian lyretail molly.

The fry will hatch within 48 hours and become free-swimming within another week or two. If you do want to raise your own fry, it’s important to remove any excess eggs from your aquarium before they start hatching so that none of them die due to lack of oxygen. After around three weeks, your fry will be able to eat flake foods and brine shrimp nauplii.

Violet Goby (Gobioides broussonnetii)

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The dalmatian lyretail molly is generally docile but will exhibit territorial behavior if disturbed. It is best to keep at least two per tank, as they do enjoy their own space and may become territorial if kept alone. This fish may become aggressive with other mollies, so it is best to avoid keeping them with other types of fish altogether.

They are known for nipping fins and tails on other fish, especially those that are smaller than themselves. They can be housed with non-aggressive species like guppies or swordtails.

Dalmatian lyretail molly care

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

Dalmatian lyretail mollies, like all livebearers, are sensitive to low oxygen levels and can be easily stressed. Consequently, they require a well-aerated tank with good water circulation. While they do need some shelter from fast currents or other fish that nip at their long fins, ample plants are preferable over an artificial cave. A large school of dalmatian lyretail mollies will consume quite a bit of food, so plan on feeding them several times per day.

As with any fish, proper care is important to keep your fish healthy. They require a tank that is 20 gallons or larger. The water temperature should be between 74-81 degrees Fahrenheit. Add an established aquarium filter to help maintain clean water and appropriate levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in their environment; these fishes are fast swimmers who can easily get sucked into power filters if they aren’t placed in front of an aquarium current or under-gravel filter setup.

These little guys are cute, fun, and pretty hardy—which makes them great starter fish for someone looking to add something new to their home aquarium.

What they eat

They’re omnivorous and appreciate both plant matter as well as meaty foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or tubifex worms. Feed your mollies a varied diet for best results.

You can also feed them high-quality dry foods designed for tropical fish such as flake food that contains spirulina algae.

Knight Goby (Stigmatogobius sadanundio)


Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

They can live for 5 years or more depending on the water condition and their environmental parameters.

Parasites and diseases

Unlike some other fish in your aquarium, a Dalmatian lyretail molly is extremely prone to parasitic infections. It’s vital that you set up a quarantine tank for new fish and perform frequent water changes in their home aquarium. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for fungus, which can spread rapidly due to how crowded they tend to be kept.

A good rule of thumb is that if you notice something odd about one of your fish, it’s time to take action! If there are any external signs of disease or infection, do not hesitate to remove them from your aquarium. You may want to consider moving sick fish into a hospital tank where they will have plenty of space and won’t infect others in your main aquarium.


Dalmatian lyretail mollies are preyed upon by larger fish and birds. They have a high mortality rate due to their young being eaten by other fish, such as guppies, when they leave their parents’ territory. It is thought that predators prefer to eat them because of their bright colors, which can be seen from a distance in murky water. This makes them easier targets for predators than species with duller colors.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. Dalmatian lyretail mollies are very active and playful, making them great companions for those who want a lively aquarium. However, these fish don’t tend to live in groups. They prefer to swim alone or in small families of three to five individuals. They are peaceful creatures; they won’t nip fins or chase their tank mates around like many other tropical fish.