Common Name: Humpbacked Limia, Blackbarred Limia
Synonyms: Poecilia nigrofasciata
Meaning of Name
Genus- Limia = Muddy River
Species- nigrofasciata = black striped
Limia nigrofasciata is a livebearing fish from Haiti. Males have a humped appearance and both males and females have black bars, hence the two common names. Humpbacked Limias were more popular fish in the early 1960s prior to the introduction of colorful sword and platy variants and it is easy to see why. They are colorful, active and have a terrific pattern. Many aquarists haven't seen them before and I gave lots away to visitors to my fishroom. This fish is really underrated!
As males mature, their golden base color gets brighter and the vertical stripes become better defined. Besides a humped appearance, males posses a colorful yellow dorsal edged in black and yellow caudal. I have heard from old-timers that males sometimes approach five inches, but I have never seen one this big. Females, as you would expect, are not as pretty, but they aren't bad looking. Female possess an overall gray-tan underlying color with vertical bars, and lighter yellow dorsal and caudal.
This fish is found in Haiti in streams and lagoons, typically associated with plants and cover.
Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism
Size: Males- 3 inches, Females 3 inches
Maturity: 1.5 inch
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are more colorful, have a humped back and a gonopodium.
Limia nigrofasciata is easy to keep. I recommend keeping a group of six to eight fish in a 15 or 20 gallon long tank. I like to use floating, plastic plants (Marineland Fancy Plant Mats) which provide a hiding place for the fry. In my tanks, I use a sand substrate and SwissTropical Cube sponge filters. Limia in general like it warm, so tank temperatures of 75F to 82F work well, although they can handle it cooler down to 68F without difficulties.
In the wild, Limia nigrofasciata are omnivorous. In the aquarium, they readily accept just about any type of flake food.
My son Sam brought me a group of six young adult fish (4M and 2F) which he obtained from Rich Birely of Sacarmento, CA. This was a surprise from him and I was excited to receive them as this is a fish that I had been looking for! I placed the fish into a 20G flat tank. It took the fish a couple of months to settle down before I noticed the first seven or eight fry. After that, they started reproducing like gangbusters.
Limia nigrofasciata is a great looking fish which is active and easy to keep. You owe it to yourself to track down this fish!