Types of Guppies (Including Fancy Varieties) Plus Guppy Care Guide (With Pictures)

Types of Guppies (Including Fancy Varieties) Plus Guppy Care Guide (With Pictures)

Guppies are a type of freshwater tropical fish that are very easy to care for in aquariums. One of the attractions of keeping guppies in a fish tank is that they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and patterns. Some ornamental species of guppies have showy tails, fancy types of guppies have brightly colored bodies, and some have striking tiger-like patterns.

There are an estimated 300 species of guppies, all of which belong to the family Poeciliidae in the genus Poecilia. The scientific name for guppies is Poecilia reticulata. This species of small fish is native to freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds in Central America and South America. Some types of guppies have also developed tolerance to brackish water and they are now found in many countries around the world.

The main interest around guppies is how to care for them in aquariums. Guppies are a popular type of aquarium fish as they eat most food, tend not to bother other fish, and are easy to look after. If you keep guppies in a tank, you can expect them to live for an average of 2 years. However, some may live for 3 years or longer.

In this article, you will find out about some of the most interesting types of guppies. At the end of the article, you will get a helpful guide on how to care for these beautiful aquatic creatures.

Different Types of Guppy Fish Species (With Pictures)

All guppy fish are grouped into 3 main species in the family Poeciliidae.

Poecilia reticulata

Poecilia reticulata

Poecilia reticulata is the most common type of guppy with showy tail

The most common type of guppy you will find in pet stores is the common guppy, or Poecilia reticulata. These species of guppies are hardy little fish in a number of vivid colors and tail patterns.

Common male guppies generally grow to between 0.6” and 1.4” (1.5 – 3.5 cm) long and the females are slightly larger. Selective breeding means that common guppies are some of the showiest types of freshwater fish you can buy.

Poecilia wingei

Poecilia wingei

Poecilia wingei (Endler guppy) have striking colors and are rare in aquariums

The common name for the Poecilia wingei is ‘Endler guppy’ and these fish are striking and colorful. Endlers can be in amazing contrasting colors with some having bright metallic shades, iridescent tones, and glowing vivid colors. These guppy species thrive in warm water. It is quite rare to find these guppies in pet stores.

Micropoecilia picta

Species of Micropoecilia picta guppies are also called ‘swamp guppies’ or ‘scarlet livebearers’ and live in brackish water. These saltwater-loving guppies are rarely found in aquariums.

Different Types of Guppies

guppy breeds

Different breeds and types of guppies with various colors, patterns and tale shapes

Guppies are easy to breed and care for, and because of that are popular with hobby breeders. This has resulted in a huge variety of different types of guppies. Guppies are also one of best freshwater fish for beginners and they are easy to keep alive.

Usually, guppies are grouped according to their types of fins, colors, and patterns. Due to the variety and diversity of guppy species, colors and pattern on the body and tail can be completely different. Guppies are also identified by their tail patterns, with some having tails shaped like triangles, sword, spades, fans, or spears.

Let’s look in more detail at the different kinds of guppies that you can have in your aquarium at home.

Fancy Guppies

fancy guppies

Fancy guppies have stunning colors and fancy tails

Fancy guppies are generally common guppies that have exquisite coloring and fancy fins. Guppies with fantails or triangular delta tails can be described as a fancy type of guppy. In addition to large frilled tails, fancy guppies may have beautiful coloring with leopard tails, blue speckled tails, or tails with black and red colors in the shape of a rainbow.

One of the more interesting types of fancy guppies are the Moscow strains. These are generally guppies with solid coloring, large showy tails, and brightly colored fins. Generally, the price of Moscow guppies is more expensive than other types of guppies

Guppy Types by Tail Shape

guppy tail shapes

Guppy Types by Tail Shape

One of the ways of identifying guppies is by their tail shape. There are around 13 different types of tails ranging from a sword to a large half-moon.

Veil tail guppies

These small freshwater guppy fish have a triangular-shaped tail in the shape of an isosceles trapezoid. Most of these guppies have elongated dorsal fins and trailing pelvic fins.

Delta triangle tail

Most types of fancy guppies have a delta triangle tail. This is very large in comparison to the fish body. Very often, delta tail guppies have beautiful color variations and intricate patterns. These guppy species look extremely elegant as they glide through the water.

Fan tail guppies

Guppies with fantails also belong to groups of fancy guppies. As their name suggests, their tail is in the shape of a triangular fan. Some of the more exotic guppy species have beautiful trailing fantails.

Flag tail

Some smaller species of guppies have flag tails in a rectangular shape. As they quickly swim and dart through the water, their tails look like flags fluttering in the wind. If you decide to have flag tail guppies, buy a few of them as they look better in groups.

Sword tail guppies

Guppies with long pointed tails belong to strains of sword tail guppies. Due to their intense colors and striking long tails, these aquarium fish are some of the most unique fish varieties to have in your aquarium. These types of guppies usually live longer than other species.

Double sword tails have long thin tails on the top and bottom of their tail fins.

Top sword tail varieties of guppies only have an elongated tail extending from the top of the tail fin.

Bottom sword tail guppies have their sword-like tail extending from the underneath of their bodies.

Lyre tail

Similar to double-sword tail guppies, species of guppies with lyre tails seem to have a double sword type of tail. However, there is a small membrane connecting both parts of the tail which puts this in another classification.

Needle or pin tail

One of the most interesting types of guppies and the most easily recognizable is the needle or pin-tail varieties. The tail has a rounded shape with a sharp-looking point to it. These guppies are often in beautiful color variations. They are also some of the most spectacular of all the guppies.

Spade tail

Guppies in the spade tail species have tails that resemble the shape of spades on a pack of cards. They also come in all sorts of color combinations with some spectacular ones being multicolored pink, orange, black, and yellow varieties.

Spear tail

Guppies with spear tails have some of the smallest tail fins of all the species. The shape of their tails seems to resemble a cross between needle tail and spade tail guppies.

Round tail

As their name suggests, round tail guppies have a tail that looks round. The round tail gives the guppies a compact look and, while not as fancy as some other species of guppies, their iridescent coloring makes them especially attractive.

Halfmoon tail

Guppies with halfmoon tails are some of the fanciest guppies you will come across. Their tails are large and stunning as they wave in the water. Also, a plethora of colors and patterns make this species of guppy prized specimens for aquariums.

Guppy Types by Body Pattern

Some types of new guppy varieties have solid body colors such as black, blue, or various shade of turquoise. Many species of guppies are also classified by their colored body patterns. It is also good to remember that classifying guppies by body pattern alone doesn’t take into account variations of their tails.

Tuxedo guppies

Red Tuxedo guppy

Tuxedo guppies are distinguished by their two-toned bodies similar to a tuxedo. Usually, the front half of the body is lighter than the tail half.

Cobra guppies

cobra guppy

Yellow Cobra guppy

Cobra guppies come in all sorts of multiple colors including silver, green, orange, black, and white. The distinguishing feature of cobra guppies is their spotted patterns on their bodies and tails and vertical stripes on their front half.

Snakeskin guppies

snakeskin guppies

Snakeskin guppies have snake or tiger marks on their body

Looking at pictures of snakeskin guppies, it’s easy to see how they got their name. Snakeskin guppy species have markings similar to a snake, or some may have tiger-like patterns.

Guppy Types According to Tail Pattern

Some of the most stunning and eye-catching guppies have large flowing tails that add grace and elegance to the look of the fish. However, spectacular tail patterns can turn beautiful guppies into stunning varieties.

Glass guppies

One of the features of glass guppies is their transparent tails. These guppy species lack a type of silver dye that gives fish a silvery appearance. Many glass guppies also have beautiful vivid and metallic colors as well as speckling on their tails.

Leopard guppies

leopard guppies

Leopard guppies can come in various tail colors

Leopard guppies look amazing with leopard-like markings on their tail fins. Some have orange and black marks that look just like a leopard’s spots. Others have beautiful shades of red, white, and blue with the distinctive black markings that class these as leopard guppies.

Lace guppies

lace guppies

Usually lace guppies also have snakeskin body

Fin tails on types of lace guppies feature intricate patterns on fan-shaped tail fins. Usually, lace guppies are also a species of snakeskin guppy and their unique coloring make them fascinating to look at. It is not uncommon to see guppies with red and orange tails and blue snakeskin body patterns.

Mosaic guppies

Yellow Mosaic guppy

Yellow Mosaic guppy

All mosaic guppies also belong to the types of fancy guppies due to their spectacular metallic, iridescent, and vivid colors. Some of the most remarkable guppies in this class are the ones with halfmoon or delta-shaped tail fins.

Guppy Types According to Colors

One of the reasons why guppies are one of the most popular types of fish for freshwater aquariums is the sheer number of color variations they come in.

Guppies can have plain colored bodies but fantastically colored fins and tails. Or, they may have so many different vivid and radiant color combinations that they look awe-inspiring.

There are nearly 30 different types of guppies based on their color schemes. Let’s look at a few of the most stunning and unusual ones.

Albino guppies have a white, almost translucent body with blushes of pink markings. They are a rare species of guppy and they can have triangular tails or flag type tails. They are also one of the few species of guppies that have red eyes.

albino guppy

Albino guppies are rare fish and they also have red eyes

Black guppies are some of the coolest types of fish in an aquarium as they look so unusual. The best kind of black guppies are ones that are small to medium size.

Solid color guppies can be white, red, blue, or turquoise green. Many of the most elegant species of these guppies have lavish tail shapes and long elongated or showy dorsal fins. Many of these are in the Moscow guppy strains which are also some of the most expensive guppies.

solid red guppy

Solid red guppy

Bi-Colored guppies usually have a distinct base color and one-quarter of their body in a different color. These guppy varieties can be in any type of color variation with red, blue, and green being the most common.

Half-and-half colored guppies are some of the most interesting color variations. Usually, these types of color combinations are difficult to breed and are some of the more expensive varieties. Some popular color combinations of guppies are half black and blue, half black and red, the red delta guppy, and the half-black and yellow guppy.

If you want to get an especially beautiful type of colored guppy, look for half-black pastel guppies. These have some of the most elegant pastel-colored fantail and veil tails guppies.

Other types of guppy color variations

There are too many combinations of guppy colors to mention. Other popular species are metallic colors, koi guppies, Jarawee lazuli guppies, and platinum guppies.

Guppy Types According to Pectoral Fins

Most species of fancy guppies are classed by their tail fin shape and dorsal fin. There is one type of guppy that has interesting pectoral fins – the Dumbo ear guppy. This guppy species gets its name from the fact that the two fins on either side of its body are like large elephant ears in shape.

Depending on the strain of Dumbo ear guppy, they can be any of the different fin varieties and come in a number of color combinations.

Guppy Types by Eye Color

There are only two types of guppies that are worth mentioning due to their eye color. These are the ‘albino guppy’ and the ‘real red-eye guppy.’

We have already mentioned the albino guppy in this list of interesting species of guppies. The ‘real red-eye guppy’ has a deep orange to red body and vivid red eyes. This makes this guppy species one of the most unusual and rarest guppies you can find.

Other Types of Guppies

Because there are so many species of guppies, it can be difficult to categorize each guppy in one specific class. Some of the less-striking types of guppy are called mutt guppies and are not as impressive as the fancy guppies mentioned in this article.

How to Care for Guppies

guppy types

It is easy to care for guppies in an aquarium

Guppies are one of the easiest freshwater aquarium fish to care for. Because guppies generally live in warm water lakes, rivers, and ponds, it is important to create the right environment in the fish tank.

One of the most important factors to care for guppies is water temperature. Your aquarium needs a water heater, and it should keep water at a constant temperature of between 75 and 82°F (23 – 27°C). Your guppies also need about 8 hours of darkness every day.

Another of the important things to consider when caring for guppies is feeding them. Most pet stores supply guppy flakes, but worms and mosquito larvae are also good choices. Feed small amounts 2 to 4 times a day and make sure that all food is consumed within 2 minutes.

You also need to follow standard aquarium procedures to care for guppies such as weekly tank cleaning, changing water, and proper pH levels.

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