Of course, guppies are officially originated from Central- and South-America but over several decades they were exported throughout the world. To be sold to aquarists, zoo's, for regulating the insect plagues (e.g. mosquitos and so on...), regulating algae overgrowth, etc.... As well for breeding programmes to maintain the original form and to hybridise to the wellknown fancy guppy which we've known for decades as well... Europe has been of a very important value regarding guppies when it comes to the scientific approach of determining the genus' and further related issues. With a special focus on Germany.
Native wild types
These are guppies indigenous to the area where they were caught. The range of native wild guppies are restricted to the Carribean and North Eastern South America.
Feral wild types
These are guppies which were introduced by man to a different wild enviroment than the endemic areas.
True wild types
Both native and feral wild guppies are true wild guppies and are taken directly from the wild.
Wild descended types
These are guppies which were produced by a colony that has a direct line to the true wild population.
On this page I'd like to continue telling you something about my wildguppies in general. In this chapter I'll leave out all endler strains for those are specifically mentioned in chapter "Livebearer2". The strains that will be mentioned overhere are no endlers of any kind. For a lot of people make the mistake that each wildguppy is an endler. A false statement! An endler is a"guppylike" wildform!
I also like to point out that a guppy isn't always a poecilia reticulata. There are more wildguppies that aren't poecilia reticulata like e.g. poecilia obscura.
Besides keeping all kinds of wildguppies and wildtype guppies, at some point I also started keeping a group of cumana guppies (no endlers btw...), colombia rio lobo's and wildguppies from Lake Cienaga Daigui at the place Choco in Colombia. Most males of the cumana guppies had some orange and black spots on the side. Most males from Lake Cienaga Daigui had peacock patterns on the sides and bluish lyretails. At the other hand, the rio lobo's males were the most colourful ones. Of course, like most wildguppies the females didn't appear that colourful like the males.
To put an anecdote out here.... I do recall that during the seventies till mid eighties wildguppies in the petstore were available for ridiculous low prices. At that time I'd be able to give the owner of the petshop about 3 guilders and I was allowed to fill one huge net with a lot of these little guys. In some way they all wanted to sell those fancy guppies instead of these short tailed and less bright coloured guppies. They were also sold as so-called feederfish. And also for that reason they were sold at low prices at that time... But if I'd take a look at the current prices, it's been incredibly increased for that matter. Anyways, I've always thought that wildguppies had more charm than the fancy guppies. And to me that's still the way it is!
Certain males in the pillar tank (left top picture) have developed paintbrushtails and became more colourful. The picture on the right shows a wildtype guppy with a curved topsword.
In this mutt tank are kept all kinds of guppies and endlers which just don't meet up to the standards of the strains they came from. I do have to admit that really interesting males were developing from the offspring of the resulted crosses in this tank. Even females with more colour pattern in their fins and tails are occuring and the same goes for females with darker dorsal areas.
It's really amazing how diverse the male pattern can be...
For take a look at these wildguppies as shown below...
Look at the difference between male and female. More and more males are developing peacock spots on their sides. Also the dark spot at the start of the tail appears more frequently. The females however stay in comparison to the males less brighter in colouration.
A blue based male ↑
As the pictures show, the male wildguppy is able to perform more pigmentation after bred in captivity for a couple of generations. But to be honest the fancy guppies have their origin from these kinds of wildguppies. And look at those fancy guppies these days how colourful they've become... But I don't like the delta- and triangleshaped tails so I'll stick to the wildforms and fancies which have short fins and tails (with the exception of lyretails and swords).
I also like to make the remark that although wild guppies are gray based, in captivity blonde, bronze and golden mutations can occur. I'm even convinced that in free nature some blonde, bronze and golden specimens must occur as well between all those gray based ones. In a way, it's not even that weird for several wild strains have adapted their shape and color patterns to the circumstances of their enviroment.
Japan blue wildtype guppies
Japan blue wildtype guppies have often been mistaken to be named endlers for so many years.
They're suppose to be guppies which have been found in japanese waters. According to the story, it's an evolved strain from a complete different kind of wildtype guppies which were released overthere for a long time ago. Wether this story is true or not... it remains a wonderful wildtype guppy...
They're also called neon blue wildtype guppy. The intensity of the blue does differ per individual male. The fins can be clear or marked with colours or pattern. In general they're quite hardy and easy breeders.
There's also a japan blue endler hybrid. These can be recognized by the dot or black bar on both sides of the male's chest. All other features are similar to the japan blue wildtype guppy.
The first japan blues I've kept was back in 2004. At that time still sold as being endlers.
One of the strains that I've kept and which I've bred is the so-called congo wildguppy. This is a feral species which occurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (or Congo-Kinshasa and former Zaïre) in Central-Africa. The species is endemic to areas of the congo river and surrounded mangroves.
Overhere some males and females are shown. In general most males have peacock pattern on their bodies.
In May 2017 (many years after I've kept these guppies), I've received a small colony of Congo wildguppies Brazzaville again from Leendert van den Berg (chairman of Poecilia Netherlands). It turned out to be the same species as I had for years ago.
This strain is also a very interesting one. These are kept just by themselves in a tank. The patterns differ from male to male. The same goes for the shape of their tails. They're a bit slimmer and longer than the congo wildguppies.
Also these males have peacock pattern on their bodies. They're real beauties to have !
Below we see pics of several male ecuador wildguppies. It's a colourful strain and very hardy...
Rio picota honda colombian wildguppy
Although, you would expect that this strain should occur just in Mexico, the fact is different. These are colombian instead of mexican. The species occurs in both countries. It's not actually determined wether it's exactly the same strain but they do look very similar to another.
This strain is to be found at Balneario la Picota / Rio Picota, departamento de Tolima, Colombia.
These males don't have any pattern in their tails. Further on it's a shorttailed wildguppy, So, no lyretails!
Like most wildguppies, also this strain is very easy and hardy. In this pic on the right a not complete coloured juvenile male. Look at the typical bar on the adult male on the left.
Rio Catatumbo wildguppy
Here's a strain which is very rare in the aquaristic world, the rio catatumbo wildguppy. It's endemic to the northern part of the rio catatumbo close to Venezuela.
Was lucky to have a couple of these fish from an import from Colombia ( F1 from the venezuelan strain) this june 2012. Unfortunately, three males died two days after they came in. Two males and five females remained.
Surinam isadou wildguppy
This year (spring 2012) I got some wildguppies from an acquaintance of mine who went on an expeditiontrip to Isadou in Surinam. Isadou is an island located in the brokopondo reservoir. Situated in the north-eastern part of Surinam on the left riverbank of surinam river.
He was looking for quite different fish than guppies. But he found in a stream overthere lots of these guys and brought a certain amount of these fish along. He called me if I was interested to have some of my own. Had some losses in the beginning but it regained in amount later on... Despite of all, this wildguppy doesn't seem to be that hardy. So, a bit of caution was becoming neccesary with these guys.
A juvenile male of the surinam isadou wildguppy is shown above.
Rio lobo wildguppy
One of the more known wildguppies are the rio lobo wildguppies. Very hardy fish and also within this strain a range of patterns are occuring.
Rio lobos are more common
Although it's a more common type of wildguppy, it's still a "must have guppy" for wildguppy lovers.
A couple of rio lobo wildguppies
Rio Approuague wildguppy
A very interesting type of wildguppy is the rio approuague wildguppy. Found in the Approuague River in the eastern part of French Guiana and close to Brazil. The Approuague River has a total length of approximately 180 miles (about 270km). This river's area is also known as one of the best locations for survival trips and real trekking.
This wildguppy would also survive in more wild waters for the Approuague river can be pretty rough.
The males are really colourful and have a ferm bodybuild. This strain s very adaptable to many water qualities. A wildguppy I would surely recommend to wildguppy fans.
Rio Solimões wildguppy
This type of wildguppy is to be found in the neighbourhood of Fonta Boa in the Rio Solimões in Brasil. Rio Solimões is the brasilian name and therefore portuguese for the Amazon river from the peruvian border to the junction with the Rio Negro.
The males are slender and pretty colourful as to be seen on these pics. Especially when the males age, they tend to become darker to the tail. More greenish on the side will appear as well.
This strain is to be found in Rio Mandemba in Venezuela.
The mandemba wildguppy ain't that colourful but nevertheless an interesting wildguppy. It's less hardy but the more challenge there is to keep and breed them.
Of all jamaican wildguppies, I have this particular strain back home. Bright coloured and very profilic.
This strain was caught in 2007 and brought in through Germany before it came to me.
Lac du Rorota, Fratigue
Well, this wildguppy is called Lac du Rorota named after the region where it was found. But through the years it's been a real discussion wether the Lac du Rorota is actual the japan blue which were found in waters in Japan. Or that the japan blue from japan originated from the Lac du Rorota. Knowing that wildguppies originated from Central- and South-america and that all current wildtype guppies found in waters around the world were released overthere. And for sure sufficient types evolved in their appearance in other natural waters as well. So, if the question would raise: which guppy would be original; Lac du Rorota or the japan blue? I would say that the Lac du Rorota would've appeared first. For sure, this is a speculation coming from my side. But that's only based on the chronological order. I am aware of it that lots of theories are at hand regarding this topic. Who's really right on this story seems still a bit vague... But it does keep the topic alive in my opinion.
I myself have Lac du Rorota wildguppies swimming around which look a bit different from the average japan blue shorttails I have in another tank. The Lac du Rorota which I have overhere seem to be more stretched when it comes to bodylength in comparison to the average japan blue shorttail.
This is a wildguppy which is endemic to the same region as the micropoecilia bifurca. It's also imported as a micropoecilia species. In some way the bodyshape does show similarities to the micropoecilia species but it's determined a wild wingei by professor Schartl in August 2010. Despite of the fact that professor Schartl determined this strain as being a wingei, it doesn't actually have any resemblence to any kind of poecilia wingei in my opnion. Before this determination it has been considered a poecilia reticulata. Anyways, I leave this up to each one of you how you like to call this fish.
This is a natural wingei hybrid and to be found in Surinam, Dutch Guyana. First caught fish in August 2005. Also this strain can be kept in freshwater and brackish water.
Venezuelan doublesword wildguppy
In 2012 I got a group of venezuelan wildguppies donated by Ronald Bosma. It concerned a group of extended doubleswords. The original group (F0) had been collected by Frans Vermeulen in Venezuela. He's dutch but moved over to Aruba.
These wildguppies are really ferm in build, hardy and very fertile.
The third recognized order of wildguppies is named poecilia obscura. Also known as oropuche guppy. This strain is to be found in the oropuche river system in North-eastern Trinidad. But also in other river streams like Rio L'Ebranche, Rio Seco, Rio Mature, Rio Quare and Rio La Seiva. The two last mentioned are part of the Oropuche river system.
Most of these poecilia obscura occur in the shallow parts of the streams and in ditches.
Also with this strain a lot of phenotypes among the males occur. The colours, patterns, fin- and tailshape differ a lot.
The pics above shows males with almost a similar pattern. However, below is shown a collage of how different these phenotypes can be.
St.Ann's wildguppy, Trinidad
The next wildguppy mentioned is the so-called St. Ann's wildguppy from the shallow waters of Trinidad. Don't mix this strain up with the black bar endler. It does look almost similar to the black bar endler but the dorsals are fully coloured and the pattern of the tail is different. The swords are also much thinner in lining.
Also a difference between this wildguppy and the black bar endler is that the females have a slight darker edge on all the fins. So, including the tail. Unfortunately the pics below doesn't show it too well. But that's a real difference in comparison to female black bar endlers.
Despite of the fact that the resemblence with the black bar endler is genuine present, I won't mix them in the same tank. For it is a seperate strain itself and therefore still very interesting to keep. At some point I think this strain is much more interesting to me than the black bar endler. But that's basically a personal preference.
In 2014 a group of rio casanay wildguppies were donated to me. They were given to me becoz' the adult female had died and only an adult male and fry were left. Scared that they wouldn't work out that well, the owner decided to get rid of these fish. I took them home and just put them in a small tank. Basically I just left them in there and I only fed them. Hardly some water changes were done in that tank. Fortunately, those fish did well and the fry grew up beautifully.
Most males have a metallic shine, red markings, peacocks on most likely the back of the body or the shoulder and some filigree pattern on their caudal fin.
To me these are one of the more stunning wildguppies there are.
These wildguppies are to be found in the Rio Casanay in Venezuela.
The cayenne wildguppy is originated from Cayenne river, French Guiana.
It's a small wildguppy which has a partial red covered body and some monocles. A slight blue marking at the end towards the caudal fin, A clear caudal fin and some markings in the dorsal fin.
The Isla Margarita wildguppy is originated from La Asuncion, Isla Margaitain Venezuela (coll. Jürgen Mahlke, 2008).
It's not a very bright coloured wildguppy but absolutely worthwhile to keep.
There are two varieties of orangeline wildguppies. This particular strain is to be found in a branch of Rio Morichal, 75km SSO Maturin, Largo Highway 10 in Venezuela.
This type of orangeline does resemble much more a poecilia reticulata as his relative described next.
This orangeline guppy is to be found south of Ciudad Bolivar, 50km east of El Tigre at El Salto, Venezuela.
For years ago this strain was considered being a micropoecilia strain. Nowadays, it's considered being a poecilia reticulata. But if I look at the male's features, it does resemble more like a micropoecilia than a poecilia reticulata. However, the females are more similar to poecilia reticulata than micropoecilia. For sure, it's a speculation coming from my side... But personally I do think that this could be a natural hybrid between poecilia reticulata and micropoecilia.
What's also peculiar is that they prefer a lower pH.
The first specimens I've kept was in 2014. Purchased them from Peter and Astrid Raschke.
The surinam green wildguppy had been found 20km north-west of Paramaribo in Surinam (coll. Harro Hieronimus, 1999).
My first breeding couples came from an auction in Sauerland (Germany) back in 2014.
This surinam wildguppy is a colourful specimen which doesn't carry that much green on its body despite of the name.
The poecilia kempkesi originated from Paramaribo in Surinam. The poecilia kempkesi is also called Surinam guppy or paramaribo guppy.
The colony I've started with were purchased at an auction in Sauerland (Germany) back in 2014. The data that goes with this colony is location Anton Drachtenweg, Paramaribo in Surinam (coll. Fred Poeser).
They did very well at my place but somehow they just didn't want to reproduce. It took about 8 months before the first offspring were born.
In spring 2016 I've kept them also outside. Despite of the slow start of spring (with all the lows you can imagine), the juveniles did amazingly well outside. Because of the fact that they were put in a glass cube instead of PE tank and kept on the south side, the temperatures do fluctuate more. Also more algae growth and more colouration of the water is at hand in this situation. Nevertheless, they were doing just fine in there.
Overhere an already adult male coming from the outdoor tank.
There has been a questionnaire wether poecilia maculatus (Winge) or poecilia kempkesi is the pure Paramaribo guppy. Research (by Fred Poeser) concluded that poecilia kempkesi is the correct pure form.
The next pictures (lecture Fred Poeser at the Poecilia Netherlands Meeting, Asperen 2016) shows that Winge's p.maculatus was a crossbreeding with poecilia reticulata.
Conclusion of Fred Poeser: Poecilia kempkesi with a dot is the pure form and p.maculatus without a dot is a hybrid.
Despite of the dots and the orange or red spot on both sides of the males, the position of the dot(s) can differ and so does some other markings. There are males with some darkmarked dorsals but also with clear dorsals.
Poecilia reticulata Hortus botanicus VU
In 2014 I've got a group of wildtupe guppies from Brian Twint as a gift. They came from the Hortus botanicus of the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). They were very bright coloured and consisted of variable phenotypes. Of course, that's not weird for in the pond of that specific greenhouse, several kinds of guppies were released in there throughout the years. And in some way, it did cultivate into a certain colony but the bloodlines were still too diverse to become one new strain. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful and interesting colony to have...
Overhere some pictures of a btach of them...
Poecilia reticulata Hortus botanicus Leiden
In 2015 when I was engaging the AquaHortus2015 exhibition (lasted for 3 weeks) at the Hortus botanicus of the University of Leiden (the Netherlands), I've been catching livebearers (and specifically guppies) by permission. I've caught them in the Victoria pond of the Victoria greenhouse.
In there were mollies, platies, guppies, puffers and even goldfish...
But my focus has been guppies and mainly wildtype guppies. I've caught them together with one of my best friends Paul Vons and also with Rogier van Vught (Supervisor greenhouses). Below a picture of Rogier van Vugt trying to catch some wildtype guppies for me...
Also these guppies were really diverse in their looks. Throughout the years several kinds of guppies and endlers were released into this pond and they've mixed up with eachother. So, a variety of wildtype guppies were the result.
In the picture below some guppies were put in some jars.
Overhere some specimens from the Victoria pond...
And overhere some caught fish by me and Paul Vons after two hours of catching fish using some plastic bottles instead of using a net... Yes, two hours for just a couple of guppies... Aren't we the best...???
Poecilia reticulata Baja California
On the second Poecilia meeting in 2016 I was given a group of wildguppies by the name of Baja California by Ronny Vannerom from Belgium. They came from a batch which had been studied by the RU Gent (University of Gent, Belgium).
It concerns a somewhat smaller specimen from the up north Mexico. Markings of each individual male does differ a bit. Also the intensity of the colours do differ. But that could also have to do with dominance between the males.
But what all males do have is a black spot on the shoulder and most have a small peacock at or on the caudal area.
In 2010 the RU Gent (Belgium) did some research on them.
Distributing this strain by the RU Gent is rare and therefore I'm really grateful to have this strain in my collection.
The Gillbach is a tributary to the river Erft in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. This river system receives warm water influx from a power plant which enables the water temperature to stay in a stable condition of 19°C all year round.
Besides guppies also cichlids are to be found in this river system. But in this case I'll focus on the guppies in there.
Gillbach guppies are feral guppies. I'm not even mentioning feral wild guppies explicitely. The guppies that can be found overthere are phenotypically wildtype guppies and specimens that show specific fancy traits (not bigtailed but you do see the characteristics of fancy guppies).
I myself keep the wildtype guppies from the Gillback stream. First ones I've ever received were offspring from a batch caught by Peter Mulders back in 2018. I became interested in them when I got to see a whole bunch at Michael Kempkes (author of several aquarium books) place when I visited him back in Fall of 2016 (we had a joined meeting between VDA-AK and Poecilia Netherlands).
As already been mentioned, those Gillbach guppies do not consist of one phenotype but several. The ones I've started with were wildtypes and shorttailed. It turned out that these guppies were really prolific and in the beginning most male offspring looked quite similar to the fish I've started this colony with. But after the third generation, more diversity showed up in the male offspring.
Rio Magdalena, Honda (Colombia)
A group of wildguppies coming from a batch of wild caughts (year 2017) was given to me by Fred Poeser. They were simultaneously caught with Poecilia caucana (which was the goal of the expedition in 2017). Friends of Fred Poeser caught them in Colombia. He was given Poecilia caucana by them and it turned out that guppies were in there as well. Both species were derived from the Rio Magdalena. And so these guppies were named after this river.
During one of the meetings of Poecilia Netherlands in 2017, Fred Poeser brought these guppies along and handed them over to me. He told me he had no space left for them and gave them to me for he knew that I'm a serious fan of wildguppies. He was also more interested in the Poecilia caucana than these guppies.