The photo is of a mature Black Sailfin Molly. What doesn’t show well in the photo is the thin orange stripe on the top edge of his dorsal fin.
We started raising mollies commercially in 1998, starting with Gold Sailfins, Red Leopard Lyretails, and Poecilia latipinna, San Antonio River. During some of my crosses using these three lines of fish, I got a few Black Sailfin mollies and decided to develop the strain. To improve the dorsal fins, I crossed the black ones with P. latipinna, Coleto Creek, whose males hold their dorsal fins up most of the time. I’ve also crossed them with P. velifera and P. petenensis, two other wild sailfin mollies. In every case of mating with wild sailfins I had to inbreed to recover the nice black velvety color.
Once the black color is set after an outcross to a wild molly, the strain becomes almost true breeding, although often the fry are more gray than black before becoming solid black while maturing. In every generation there is a small percentage of fish that are Marble Sailfins but are usually have more than 90% black coverage. Some of the fish have silver instead of black eyes. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to set that characteristic.
Currently, I’m selecting for large size while maintaining good fins, solid black coloration, and an orange dorsal stripe.