Poecilia wingei (Endler’s Livebearer) Breeding Report
Submitted by Patchin Curtis
Poecilia wingei (Endler’s Livebearers) are a small, colorful livebearer native to the Paria Peninsula in Venezuela. The species was first collected from Laguna de Patos in Venezuela by Franklyn F. Bond in 1937, and rediscovered by Dr. John Endler in 1975. The latter were the first examples of this fish to make it to the aquarium trade. More have been collected since then, notably by Armando Pou, to expand the captive breeding stock. The original Laguna de Patos population is threatened by runoff from a municipal garbage dump. This species has not yet been placed on the IUCN Red List nor the CARES Priority List although they are generally considered in danger of extinction due to human activity polluting their native environment (see Wikipedia and Seriously Fish and citations include therein for more details).
Breeding stock of the pure wild strain collected by Armando Pou from the Laguna de Patos type locality was obtained from John Mangan in the PVAS Mini-Auctions on 6/3/2017 and again on 10/7/2017. The breeding colony consisted of about 3 males and 7 females. Fry began appearing almost immediately eventually reaching an unsustainable density of 200 or more in a 15g cube tank.
9 of the colony were sold at the PVAS Mini-Auction on 11/3/2018, and I gave the entirety of the remaining colony to Rachel O’Leary on 11/12/2018. It was a delightful and beautiful fish to keep, but I wanted to use the tank space to keep Cyprinid nanofish.
The colony of Endler’s Livebearers were kept in a Fluval 15g cube tank outfitted with a modified, custom Mattenfilter made of Poret foam cut to size to fit the back compartments. The tank was decorated with a sand substrate, and slate and driftwood heavily planted with Anubias. The water was soft (~4-6 GH and ~2-3 KH), neutral pH ranging from 6.9 – 7.6 depending on the time of year, and a temperature of 76o F. The fish were fed a variety of food including Cobalt Community Flake, Repashy Community and Spawn ‘n Grow formulas, live blackworms, live daphnia, and frozen foods such as bloodworms, daphnia, copepods, and rotifers. The fish also fed on biofilm growing on the driftwood and plants. No other fish were kept in the tank. The colony was exceptionally fecund with new fry appearing every week. No attempt was made to separate the fry from the adults to avoid predation.
The spawn can be verified by Andrew Blumhagen.