Dalmatian Lyretail Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

dalmatian lyretail molly

The dalmatian lyretail molly, also known as the spotted molly, dalmation molly, or Poecilia latipinna, is a species of live-bearing fish belonging to the Poeciliidae family of mollies, along with guppies and swordtails.

This species may be either an annual or a short-lived perennial, depending on factors such as temperature, food availability and predation pressure in its native range. The dalmatian lyretail molly grows quickly to sexual maturity, reproduces year-round in captivity and has a low survival rate once sexually mature.

This species of fish is closely related to the sailfin molly (Poecilia Poecilia latipinna) and the Mexican tetra (Poecilia mexicana). Similar to other members of the livebearing species, this fish can produce up to 1000 offspring in one litter after only 5 to 6 months of pregnancy.

The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly are small live-bearing fish that come in many different colors such as black, gold, red, orange and white, but the most common color is black with bright yellow spots.

Origin and description

The dalmatian lyretail mollies are from Mexico and Central America where they live in slow-moving streams with lots of vegetation and are usually found in water about two feet (60 cm) deep or less.

This hybrid color variation of the Sailfin Molly, Poecilia latipinna, is called Dalmatian Lyretail Molly. It can sometimes be called the Marbled Molly or Marbled Sailfin Molly because of its black and white body and slightly lyre-shaped caudal fin.

There are several salt levels in aquariums that Mollies can adapt to depending on their environment. A saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium can be maintained for these fish with gradual acclimation. For optimum health, add a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon to freshwater aquariums.

Species profile

dalmatian lyretail molly

The Dalmatian lyretail molly is a type of brackish water fish in the Poeciliidae family. This family also includes guppies and swordtails.

The dalmatian lyretail molly was first discovered in 1958, and specimens have been found as far north as Quebec, Canada and as far south as Chiapas, Mexico. This species is commercially important for being one of the few livebearing fishes that can be bred outside of water.

Marble Lyretail Molly (Poecilia sphenops)

Difference between a dalmatian lyretail molly male and female

Dalmatian lyretail molly male and female are differentiated by their fins, in males, the anal fin is pointed, and the dorsal fin is larger, while in females, the anal fin is rounded, and the pregnancy spot is visible in both.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the dalmatian lyretail molly is Poecilia latipinna


The dalmatian lyretail molly is a small fish that lives in freshwater and brackish water. They are usually found in calm, slow-moving bodies of water with plenty of vegetation. They are most commonly found in Southeast Asia, but the species can be found as far north as Japan and as far south as northern Australia.

Dalmatian lyretail molly size and weight

The dalmatian lyretail molly is a small fish, and can grow to be about 13 cm (5 inches) in length. The weight on average is about 0.1 ounces (3 grams).

Dalmatian lyretail molly tank size

The tank should be at least 30 gallons (114 liters) for the first fish and 10 gallons (38 liters) for each additional fish.

Tank mates

If you want to keep this fish in a community tank, make sure that the other fish are not too aggressive or territorial. They also need to be kept with other species of mollies and they do best when they’re kept with at least six.

Anubias, Java Fern, Sagittaria, Vallisneria, and Java Fern are all good plants to include in a tank for a Dalmatian Lyretail Molly. Due to their voracious appetite, they need a good filtration system.

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly is an excellent fish to add to a community tank because of its peaceful nature. It is also compatible with other peaceful, large fish that can tolerate hard water. It is possible for them to pursue both their own young and the young of other fish.

Perlmutt Cichlid (Labidochromis perlmutt)


dalmatian lyretail molly

Mollies are livebearers, meaning that babies come out of the mother alive. The breeding of Dalmation mollies occurs easily, and the pregnancy lasts between 20 to 40 days.
A female molly can give birth to a baby molly for up to five months without a male. It’s because their abdomens are usually filled with fertile eggs. There are usually 20 to 100 babies born at once.

It is recommended that the breeding tank have at least two to three females per male, 79°F water temperature, and a large number of floating plants for this species to breed in captivity. Their gestation period is around two months, and they are livebearers.

When you feed Dalmatian mollies with premium fish food flakes and keep the water conditions right, breeding occurs very easily. A female fish can keep sperm in her body for up to 5 months and give birth to molly babies more than once when she mates with a male fish.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Mollies are not aggressive fish and can make good tank mates with most other peaceful fish. They are not overly territorial, so they will usually get along with other mollies in the same tank.

Male mollies will sometimes chase each other around the aquarium. While this doesn’t harm the males, it can be quite annoying to see them circling all day long and can lead to tails being bitten off or fins getting torn.

Dalmatian lyretail molly care information

dalmatian lyretail molly

Mollies are schooling fish that can be kept in tanks with other peaceful tank mates. They should be kept in groups of at least three to five and require a tank of at least 10 gallons. Mollies do best when they have plenty of places to hide and swim, so make sure to provide them with hiding spots and plenty of live plants.

Sailfin Molly Fish (Poecilia latipinna)

Dalmatian lyretail molly food

A dalmatian lyretail molly likes to eat a variety of foods. It is an omnivore, which means it will eat both plants and animals. In the wild, it eats worms, crustaceans, and insects as well as algae and other plants. In captivity it will eat flake food, pellets made for tropical fish, shrimp chips, fruits and vegetables such as cucumber or peas.

Tank requirements

This freshwater fish is a livebearer and requires at least a 30-gallon tank with ample hiding spots and places to swim. They are omnivorous, so they can be fed a variety of aquarium flakes and pellets, as well as frozen or freeze-dried foods.

You will also need an efficient filter that produces lots of current and some plants for the fish to graze on. In addition, this breed has been known to produce litters in excess of 100 fry, so you’ll want to provide plenty of room for swimming and vegetation.

The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly should not be kept in anything smaller than a 30 gallon tank due to their large litters. The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly prefers heavily planted tanks but may accept other types of tank décor if it has enough space.


They live an average of 2 to 3 years in captivity, but some have been known to live up to 5 years.

Parasites and diseases

The dalmatian lyretail molly can be infected with parasites, such as ich, bothriocephalus tholichthys, and monogenea.

Fishes can also be affected by diseases of the skin. Some examples are Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and Trichodina. These infections cause the fishes scales to become raised and their colors to become darker in some areas.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

Predators of the dalmatian lyretail molly include, but are not limited to, bass, catfish, and carp.

Do they make good pets?

Many pet owners are attracted to Dalmatians because they are relatively inexpensive, have a low feeding and upkeep cost, and can be kept in smaller tanks. However, many people soon find that they are not the right pet for them.

Poecilia mexicana (Shortfin Molly Fish)

If you’re considering this fish as a potential addition to your home, you should take these three things into account: their temperament, their ability to live in groups, and their ability to live out of water for long periods of time.