Physical Characteristics

Grows to 2-2.4 in (5-6 cm). Sexually dimorphic and dichromatic. The male is slender-bodied and cylindrical in shape; the body has a slight curve to the dorsal surface. The head tapers to a terminal mouth, and the caudal peduncle is compressed and tapering. Dorsal fin is small and set far back, with its origin over the midpoint of the anal fin. Dorsal surface is chocolate brown, and anterior flanks are light metallic blue; red spots and splotches are scattered over the body and on the dorsal and anal fins. All fins show color, the dorsal and anal fins with orange and red margins. Anal fin tapers to a point, with its color grading into white; the upper and lower parts of the caudal fin have curved white extensions, giving this fin its characteristic lyre-tailed shape. The female is smaller, usually without much color. Sometimes golden, gray, or muddy, with rounded fins and iridescent bluish white margins on the pectoral fins. Body and unpaired fins have tiny red dots. All color and color patterns vary widely for both males and females.

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