The photo is of an adult female Blue Opal Wag Maculatus.
This is a commercial (domestic) maculatus-type variety that we are developing. First, why do I say maculatus-type? Because, while it has the general shape and fins of Xiphophorus maculatus, it is of hybrid parentage. Since it has a wag pattern, black fins, it has at least one gene from the swordtail, X. hellerii. The wag pattern requires two genes from X. maculatus, the bar gene and the twin bar gene. The bar gene creates a black bar at the base of the caudal. The twin bar gene causes the top and bottom edges of the caudal to be black. The swordtail provides an enhancer gene that causes the black to extend throughout the entire caudal. It also causes the other fins to be black when combined with the bar and twin bar genes.
This variety has an interesting history. It started with a deliberate cross I made. I mated a marigold hifin platy that I’d acquired in a mixed box of hifin platies from a Florida fish farm with a strain we raised called Neon Marigold Maculatus. I wanted to create a Neon Marigold Hifin and a male in the mixed box of hifins closely resembled the Neon Marigolds. I did develop the Neon Marigold Hifin from that cross, but also unexpectedly got some Blue Opal Maculatus in the F2 generation. It turned out that the Blue Opal color is recessive, so when I mated these fish together they produced a pure strain.
At some point in the last few months, some Blue Opals were placed into a miscellaneous platy vat. The female pictured resulted from a couple of generations of indiscriminate mating in that vat. I plan to mate her to Blue Opal Hifin males and then inbreed to yield a strain of Blue Opal Wag Hifin Maculatus. It’ll take a couple of generations to set the strain, but it should be worth it.
A lesson to be taken from this is that not all good things are planned.
Leave a Reply