Photo © John Sobel 2023 and may not be used without permission.
Common Name: Yellow Limia
Meaning of Name
Genus- Limia = Muddy River
Species- sulphorophila= Sulphur Lover, referring to the sulfur spring to which this species is native
Limia sulphorophila, also known as the Sulphur Limia, is a small, colorful freshwater fish species that is native to a the sulfur spring at Balneario La Zurza near the southeastern shore of Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic.
Adult Limia sulphorophila typically reach around 3 cm in length and have a lifespan of 2-3 years. The males of this species have golden flushes on the chest, head and dorsal/caudal fins. Males generally have a black edge to the dorsal. Females are generally less colorful, with a more subdued coloration. Color is variable, especially during courting.
In the wild, Limia sulphorophila is found only in a stagnant sulphur spring in the Dominican Republic.
Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism
Size: Males- 1.75 to 2 inches, Females 2.5 inches
Maturity: 1.5 inch
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are more colorful and have a gonopodium.
Limia sulphorophila is not demanding and can be kept in a small aquarium of 10 gallons or more. They are not picky about water conditions, but it's still recommended to maintain a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5, and a temperature range of 75-80°F. Regular water changes and filtration are important to maintain good water quality. They are active swimmers and will appreciate a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and open areas to swim.
Limia sulphorophila is a carnivorous species and can be fed a variety of live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, blood worms, and other small aquatic invertebrates. They should also be offered a variety of high-quality, protein-rich flakes or pellets. Feeding them small amounts several times a day is recommended. I had good success feeding Krill and Spirulina flakes with only the occasional treat of frozen brine shrimp.
Limia sulphorophila is a livebearer, which means that they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. The females can have up to 20 fry at a time, and the breeding process is relatively straightforward. It is recommended to provide ample hiding places for the fry.
I placed a trio which I had obtained from Pat Hartman (ALA Fellow) in a heavily planted 10G tank. For all my livebearers, I divide the tank into open swimming areas and dense planted retreats for fry using a partial plastic divider. I have good success using Guppy Grass (Najas) as the fry refuge. I have well water which is very hard and keep my main fishroom at 75-80F. I performed weekly water changes of 33-50%.
Interesting note: Pat obtained the original fish at the 2021 ALA Convention where the original trio which were new to the hobby at that time were auctioned for an astonishing $280!
Initially, these fish hid a lot, but eventually they started showing off and I observed courting behavior. Soon, both females were gravid and in a few weeks I saw tiny fry in the tank. I did not separate the fry, but fed microworms and finely crushed flake to the tank. The fry grew quickly and it seems that the fry know how big they need to be before they are not viewed as a food item to the audlts. Eventually, they get big enough and swim with the adults.
I submitted my fry to CLS's BAP program where John Sobel, who provided the photos for this profile, grew them up and bred them I later gave my group back to Pat Hartman.
Overall, Limia sulphorophila is a hardy and adaptable species that is well suited for the home aquarium. Its nice coloration and peaceful nature make it a great addition to a the species kept by livebearer hobbyists.
- Loiselle, P.V., and W.E. Burress. "The Limia sulphurophila complex (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae), with the description of a new species from the Artibonite River, Haiti." Copeia (1984): 547-557.
- Parenti, L.R., and J.E. Johnson. "Phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Limia (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae)." Copeia (2010): 1-18.
- Rivas, Luis R. "Eight New Species of Poechiliid Fishes of the GenusLimiafrom Hispaniola", (2018) 9-11.