The photo is of a male Redtail Blue Tuxedo Variatus, a commercial (domestic, if you prefer) strain of Xiphophorus variatus. Like most commercial xiphophorines (swordtails, platies, and variatus), this fish is likely to be of hybrid origin, although the strain clearly is primarily X. variatus based on its fins and shape.
In a previous blog, I wrote about developing our Redtail Black Variatus strain from some non-descript Tuxedo Variatus we had acquired from a Florida fish farm. It was from those fish that we subsequently developed our Redtail Blue Tuxedo Variatus.
While processing our Redtail Black Variatus and selecting breeders, we noticed some fish with blue replacing the normal yellow on the body. We set these up to see if the blue body could be fixed. Unlike with the Redtail Black Variatus, in future generations we selected fish with restricted tuxedos in order to show off the blue color better. The resulting fish look like the pictured male, having yellow dorsals, red tails, and blue bodies with a tuxedo black pattern. In the Redtail Black Variatus strain we select for expanded tuxedos to achieve the “black” part of the variety’s name.
Like with our other variatus, we’ve added hifin and plumetail genes. We plan to add lyretail soon. This strain is directly ancestral to another variatus we’ve developed called Redtail Blue Variatus. That fish resembles the Blue Parrot Variatus.