Breeding Chapalichthys pardalis (Leopard Goodeid)

Breeding Chapalichthys pardalis (Leopard Goodeid)

The Leopard Goodeid, Chapalichthys pardalis, is a fish decorated with circular black spots, hence the name. The scientific name also alludes to this coloration; “pardalis” is Greek for the spots found on large felines. The Leopard Goodeid is a livebearing species, and just like many other livebearers, it is easy to spawn in captivity.

Caring for Chapalichthys pardalis

Chapalichthys pardalis is not a very demanding species and you don’t really have to do anything special to coax your fish into spawning. If you provide them with a suitable environment and feed them nutritious food, they will most likely spawn sooner or later. The water quality should naturally be kept up and your fish will appreciate a planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots. Chapalichthys pardalis is native to Michoacán in Mexico and you should ideally try to mimic these conditions in the aquarium. The water temperature should not be too high; 18 – 24°C is ideal. The pH should be alkaline, from pH 7.2 to 8.0. The water hardiness should be kept below dH 25.

Sexing Chapalichthys pardalis

The male has a notched anal fin and is decorated with a bright yellow band near the edge of the caudal fin. Adult females are normally bigger than adult males. The males usually stop growing when they are around 2 ½ inches.

 Spawning Chapalichthys pardalis

In many livebearers, the males produce packets of sperm and the females store these packets and use them when they feel ready to breed. One mating can therefore produce multiple batches and females can give birth even when kept in aquariums without any males. Chapalichthys pardalis is however different, since the males do not produce any sperm packets. This means that the fish have to mate prior to each batch; no sperm can be stored and used for later.

Chapalichthys pardalis is a true viviparous species, a fact that distinguishes it from many other livebearers such as Guppiers and Swordtails. In a Guppy, the eggs are fertilized and hatched inside the body. The procedure is actually quite similar to that of egg laying species; the only difference is that the eggs hatch before they are expelled. This type of fish normally produces large quantities of comparatively small fry. Since Chapalichthys pardalis is a true viviparous species, the offspring will stay much longer inside the female and receive nutrients from a placenta-like structure (the so called trophotaenia). The fry are quite big when they are released and Chapalichthys pardalis cannot produce large batches. If a female Chapalichthys pardalis gives birth to more than 20 fry it is considered a really large batch. Chapalichthys pardalis fry is normally larger than 1 cm when born and the adult fish will normally leave them alone. 

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