Lyretail Swordtails
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Lyretail Swordtails

Lyretail swordtails can be very beautiful, especially when they are large and exhibit long, symmetrical lyretails. The lyretail trait, like the hifin trait, is dominant, but unlike most hifins, fish carrying two copies of the lyretail gene are viable. Fish homozygous for the lyretail gene are more likely to be veiltails. Most lyretail males have elongated gonopodia and are unable to inseminate females naturally. Lyretail stocks are routinely maintained by breeding a non-lyretail male to a lyretail female. Approximately 50%-100% of the offspring will be lyretails depending upon whether the lyretail female is heterozygous (one copy) or homozygous (2 copies) for the lyretail gene. I have found most lyretail males to be fertile and they can be bred using artificial insemination.


In the past, I regularly bred lyretail swordtails. However, in recent years I have focused on interspecies hybrid development and consequently have not adequately maintained my lyretail stocks. I have recently started breeding them again and I hope to use these young fish to establish high quality stocks of black and red-eye lyretail and lyretail hifin swordtails.




Although the mutation that produced the first lyretails resulted in elongated gonopodia, lyretail variants that have normal gonopodia (see image below) have been isolated and bred by several breeders. These fish are able to inseminate females naturally and offer hope that desirable traits, expressed by male lyretail swordtails, can be preserved.










Albino (red-eye) swordtails come in a large number of colors ranging from white to orange to deep red. Many hobbyists have obtained and breed red-eye "blood red" sailfin (hifin) swordtails that were developed in Asia. Despite being albino, red-eyed fish can exhibit various patterns of black pigmentation. These pigmented fish frequently develop melanomas. Albino swordtails often grow more slowly than wildtype fish, but the extra time needed to develop these strains is worth the effort.
These red-eye lyretails were derived from orange tuxedo swordtails. Note the black pigmentation. This strain is interesting because the orange/red pigment is most prominant in dorsal regions of the body, providing a nice contrast to the white/clear body and blue iridescence found ventrally.
These immature red-eye orange lyretail and lyretail hifin fish are very attractive.
A black lyretail hifin male expressing the H gene