Physical Characteristics

Males grow to 5.5 in (14 cm) in total length, with a sword length of 1.6-3 in (4-8 cm). Females grow to 6.3 in (16 cm). Sexually dimorphic. Males and females have basically the same grayish green background color. Males have a gonopodium, a slender body, a long extension on the bottom of the caudal fin forming a "sword," two lines of reddish dots on a squared-off dorsal fin, and a pronounced line of color that is bright to dark red to almost brown running longitudinally along the body from the snout through the eye to the base of the caudal fin. Sometimes paralleled on the flanks by one or two fainter reddish lines above and below. The sword is an iridescent yellowish green bordered in black. Females are robust and rounded, with squared-off anal and dorsal fins. Caudal fin is asymmetrically rounded, with a hint of a protrusion from the lower part of the fin. There is a shadow on the area over the vent (gravid spot).

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