Orange fin livebearer (Priapichthys annectens)

Orange fin livebearer (Priapichthys annectens)

Here's a description of the orange fin livebearer (Priapichthys annectens). This is an ovoviviparous livebearer that can be found in Costa Rica and Panama. To be more precise: From northern Costa Rica to western Panama (small area), Atlantic and Pacific drainages; Costa Rica.
The name orange fin livebearer has been given because both genders have an orange seam in their dorsals.

Above: Two adult females.

Lives in currents of low to high velocity; in brooks and streams between 25-1270 m elevation; in temperatures of 17-35°C. Swims in small groups at all depths, over rock or sand substrata. Reproduces continuously all year round. Feeds on terrestrial and aquatic insects, especially ants and termites. But mines are also accustomed to flake food. Because of the wide tolerance in water temperature, these fish are good contenders to keep outdoors during the better months of the year. Despite of the fact that they can reproduce themselves all year round, the batches of newborns won't be that large. Mostly between 5-15 newborns each batch.

They're not that demanding when it comes to the hardness of the water. They'll do well in moderate soft till hard water. They prefer shallow waters and will be active in all layers (as already stated).


Females tend to become larger than males. Females will reach up to 8-10 cm. And males tend to grow up to 5-7 cm. The males have a thin elongated gonopodium. Because of the shape and length of the gonopodium, these livebearers will hardly have a courtship. But most ovoviviparous livebearer species with an elongated gonopodium don't have a courtship.
The male/female ratio can be kept at 1m:1f. So, more females to one male is not necessary. The harassment of the male towards the females is low. But more females to one male won't hurt, of course...

Above: An adult male.

Scales bordered in black which gives a cross-hatch pattern to the body, more intense along the midline of the side and sometimes resembles a series of X's along the body, The sides with 6 - 12 vertical bars, more conspicuous on the urosome and the intensity varies according to the geographical region of the population. Black elongate blotches present on the membranes of the dorsal fin base. First analfin rays orange; other fins colorless. Eyes and cheeks reflect silvery green highlight.
This livebearer species has the terminal, upward-facing mouth typical of surface feeders. And they've got a protruding belly.


This species is semi friendly. Wouldn't combine them with sensitive and too friendly fish. Best to keep them in a species tank or combined with more sturdy fish. The females tend to become aggressive towards males. Especially when they're pregnant. That why it's best to keep them in a well sized tank. So, that those males can withdraw when needed.


I'm keeping and breeding this livebearer species ever since October 2020. And I've got them combined with the Polkadot splitfin (Chapalichthys pardalis).
This wild livebearer species is well suited for the more experienced aquarist than for a novice aquarist.

Photos: Stan de Jong (emeraldking)


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Very informative, got all info I needed and sparked a question. By any chance can this breed with any other species of livebearer such as a guppy,Molly,limia,Endler,platy,swordtail,ricefish, or anything else?
Hi, it can be combined with such livebearers you've mentioned but I wouldn't recommend it for a part of those livebearers. For they're semi aggressive. They would be okay with swordtails, mollies and limias. But don't cramp them in a small tank. They do need space. I've got them combined with knife livebearers (Alfaro cultratus). But they do also well with all kinds of goodeids (with the exception of bulldog splitfins (Alloophorus robustus). Small till mid sized cichlids is also an option.
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