When I first started my Orchid Endler’s colony, I was overjoyed to share these gorgeous livebearers with others. Now, I am happy to show some of the first steps these fry are taking while they transform into a colorful adult. While fry are very hard to sex early on, they do show signs of their gender around the three week mark. From there, they continue to develop. The males are just now starting to show their black spot on their tails and their bottom fin is becoming more pointed; it will eventually become a gonopodium. This specialized fin is used for propagating and, along with bright colors, is a tell-tale sign of a male Endler.
The first batch of fry are just turning four weeks old. Already, they have younger siblings that are being born. The quick gestation of the females ensures that, once a colony is established, it multiplies quickly and produces healthy and vigorous offspring. The males in this colony have vibrant neon oranges, limes, blues and hints of red. The males also have a distinct “sword” of orange and black on the tails. While not a true sword, merely a coloration on the transparent fin, it is a very unique marking in my colony.
A fully developed male will have all of the above colors and is prone to father many fry. I watch them “dance” around the females in order to show off their bright colors; they swim backwards and flare up all to lure the olive-grey females into a quick mating meet-up!
This first batch of fry have already been moved off into a holding tank, and they will be shipping out on Monday (providing the weather isn’t too cold!) on a journey to their new homes in South Carolina and Pennsylvania. My colony created a wonderful first batch, with numbers close to 30 fry altogether. Selling a majority of the fry will help keep this colony of Orchid Endler’s healthy and vibrant!