The Redtail Black Variatus is a North American livebearer related to and in the same genus, Xiphophorus, as the swordtails. Most commercial strains of platies have mixed heritage, including ancestors from X. hellerii, X. maculatus, and X. variatus. This fish is largely descended from X. variatus. Males often reach 4cm (1.5 in.). Females are somewhat larger and much heavier. Males have black bodies with yellow dorsals and red tails. Females have black bodies and red caudals. This fish has no natural range, but of its ancestors hail from Mexico and Central America. We acquired this fish in 1999 from a retail customer, Pete’s Pets, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From this original collection we have developed many of our Variatus strains.