A lot of people who operate Aquarium or those that intend to start an aquarium usually have a particular problem in common. This problem is about identifying and telling the difference between two fish species, Endlers and Guppies. The question about their relation has been on the lips of many people. However, the question is if the fishes are of the same specie or they are only similar.
Endlers [Poecilia wingei] looks very much like Guppies [Poecilia Reticulata]. They have certain characteristics and obvious features in common. As much as these two species of fish look alike, they are different from each other. Endlers stand as one specie on its own, same as Guppies. However, they are close enough to interbreed and give a fertile offspring known as Endler’s Guppy. Therefore, if we are talking about these closely related fishes, there are three main things to think; are they pure Endlers? Are they pure Guppies? Or are they a hybrid of the two?
How To Identify Endlers [Poecilia wingei]
Endlers belong to the genus Poecilia and they are very colorful in their appearance. They belong to the family Poecillidae, and they are very responsive to light and movement.
Endlers are known to thrive better in warm water aquarium. The warmer the water, the faster they grow. Although this has been seen to shorten their lifespans as well. Their optimum temperature for growth is between 24-27 °C (75-81 °F).
They like their home made around plants (live or fake) to give them a hiding place. They prefer dried, frozen or freeze dried foods, but it must be ensured that the food fits into the size of their mouth.
It is very common for people to have difficulty in identifying an Endler fish in an aquarium. To recognize Endlers, it is good to know that male Endlers have intense colours [ mostly in black, orange and metallic colours], while the females have a relatively unenticing colours.
The colour of the female is largely dependent on their environment and ranges from pale silver, to dull, dark gold. It will also interest you to know that the females can change their colours if they change their environment or alter the light intensity of their environment.
The natural pattern of Endlers highly varies and often develop a double sword tail. They typically have a black comma on their body. A male Endler can be twice the size of the female when fully grown.
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How To Identify Guppies [Poecilia Reticulata]
Guppy is also known as million fish or rainbow fish among many people. It belongs to the genus Poecilia and the family Poecillidae. They have large environmental tolerance. They can easily adapt and thrive in many environments.
The male Guppies are usually smaller than their females. If living in the wild, two or three generations of Guppies can occur a year. However, limited supply of food can affect their population.
Food substance can also increase brood size. Guppies gave many predators in their natural environment including larger fishes and birds.
Guppies show preference to water between the temperature of 22.2 and 26.1 °C [72-79 °C] for their reproduction. However, they prefer hard water with a temperature of between 25.5 and 27.8 °C [78-82 °C] in the aquarium.
There are several distinct features of Guppies that can make you easily differentiate it in the midst of other fishes. Guppies have different colours, patterns, shape and fin sizes. It is also worth knowing that domestic strains can be morphologically different from their wild counterparts.
In general, Guppies have less intense Colours, they are usually grey or shivery grey. The gonopodium is thick and have several hooks with a rounded end, and a thick pap.
Guppies And Endlers Hybrid
A hybrid known as Endler’s Guppies can be made from the selective cross between these two species. Endlers [Poecilia wingei] can be constructively crossed with Guppies [Poecilia Reticulata] to give a fertile and colorful offspring.
The potent cross and possible hybrid between these two species is the reason for the widely circulated misconceptions that they are the same. It is worth clarifying that these two species although they are closely related are still distinct from each other. However, They can interbreed to give a potent and viable offspring.
Apart from the conscious hybridization in the aquarium, natural hybridization can also occur in the wild. These hybrids always grow a blend if traits that stand out better than individual specie. They often produce really fine and colourful offspring. These hybrids can also selectively interbreed among each other.
Similarities Between Guppies and Endlers.
Guppies and Endlers are closely related. This accounts for the misconception of why some people think they are the same. In fact, they belong to the same family and genus, only different species. The close relationship is why they can interbreed among themselves.
They are both found to be colourful, non-aggressive, and also have similar fins (finnage). They both have similar environmental condition in which they thrive.
How To differentiate Between Guppies and Endlers
Despite the closeness between these two species, there are still some obviously noticeable features that accounts for their differences. Below are some of the differences seen between Endlers and Guppies;
The colours if Endlers are metallic unlike Guppies whose colours are non-metallic.
The males of Guppies can reach almost 1.5 inches and their females can grow up to 2.5 inches. While in Endlers, male is just about an inch while the females are about 1 inch and a quarter.
Guppies are generally stockier than Endlers, and Guppies have a thinner caudal peduncle.
In Guppies, the gravid spot is bigger and it is extended up to the flanks. While in Endlers, the gravid spot is usually smaller and not extended up to the flanks.
The females of Endlers have a translucent caudal peduncle. While in Guppies, the caudal peduncle is opaque.
The dorsal fins of male Endlers are usually small but clear unlike Guppies whose dorsal fins are bigger.
Endlers and Guppies are very common species of fishes among aquarium traders. They have a lot of similar characteristics in common, and they look very much alike.
These similarities make it difficult to distinguish between them. In fact, they are so closely related that they can interbreed among themselves.
However, these similarities do not translate to them being the same thing. They are fishes of distinct species and have their own peculiar characteristics that makes them different from others.