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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Green Swordtail - Xiphophorus hellerii

Non-native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status

External Links

General Description
This tropical aquarium fish is an illegally released pet fish. The native range is southeastern United States, Mexico, and Central America.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Most are solid reddish orange; some are reddish orange with black fins or reddish orange with black mottling. Swordlike tail fin usually has black edges. The classical green variety with red and yellow stripes on sides is rare in Montana waters.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 11

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Can exist in Montana only in warm springs, ponds, and resultent streams in water temperatures of 68-80 degrees F.

Food Habits
An avid feeder, utilizing any organisms or organic debris which are suspended in the water. Includes both zoo- and phytoplankton as well as small instars of aquatic insects.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature in 3-4 months. Internal fertilization. Several broods per year under favorable conditions.

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Citation for data on this website:
Green Swordtail — Xiphophorus hellerii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from