Where Do Guppies Come From? (List Of Countries And US States)

Image of a colorful guppy

Guppies come from the slow-moving streams, lakes, rivers, and canals. They originated in northeast South America during the 18th century. However, guppies are now found on all continents except Antarctica. They come from the Poeciliidae family and owe their name to Robert John Lechmere Guppy. 

Let’s now dig deeper into the origins of guppies.

Where Did Guppies Originate?

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are also known as rainbow fish and millionfish.

They are from the Poeciliidae family and are livebearers.

Guppies originated from northeast South America in the 18th century.

They owe their name to Robert John Lechmere Guppy because he introduced guppies to the aquarium trade.

Wilhelm Peters first described a guppy in Venezuela as Poecilia reticulata in 1859.

Later in 1861, De Filippi described the guppy as Lebistes poecilioides in Barbados.

Albert Günther named them Girardinus guppii to honor Robert John Lechmere Guppy because he was the one who sent the specimens of these species from Trinidad to the Natural History Museum in London.

In the year 1913, Regan reclassified the species as Lebistes reticulatus.

Later in 1963, Rosen and Bailey gave back the guppies their original name Poeciliareticulata.

During all these years, the taxonomy of the species was frequently changed.

They were given various taxonomic names.

However, Guppy is the common name, while Girardinus guppii is now a junior synonym of Poecilia reticulata.

Although guppies are native to the coastal streams of northeast South America, they are now found across various regions around the globe except Antarctica.

Guppies are highly adaptable. Hence, they thrive in varied ecological and environmental conditions.

Guppies are now poised to become an important model for functional genomics of adaptive characters.

These species are also one of the premier model systems for studying evolution, ecology, sexual selection, and genetics.

Where Do Guppies Live In The Wild?

In nature, guppies colonize mostly in the freshwater habitats that are accessible to them.

Guppies are particularly abundant in streams around the coastal regions.

They are even found in a wide variety of water bodies like ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, ditches, canals, and warm springs.

Guppies prefer freshwater.

However, they adapt well to brackish water, which is more saline than freshwater but not as salty as seawater.

Due to their small size, guppies prefer slow-moving waters. They tend to inhabit smaller streams over larger water bodies.

Guppies generally avoid fast-moving water as they can get swept away into deep areas.

Besides, the habitat of guppies is typically densely planted to avoid potential predators.

In Which Countries Are Guppies Commonly Found?

Guppies are tiny tropical fish. So, they are confined to relatively warm environments.

Since their discovery, guppies are found everywhere throughout the world except for Antarctica.

Guppies are commonly found in the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda,
  • Barbados,
  • Jamaica,
  • Guyana,
  • Trinidad and Tobago,
  • Brazil,
  • Netherlands Antilles,
  • Venezuela,
  • The US Virgin Islands.

Alright! As you can see, guppies exist all over the world. But where are they commonly found in the United States?

Where Are Guppies Commonly Found In The US?

In the United States, guppies are usually found at the following places:

  • Hawaii,
  • Idaho,
  • Nevada,
  • New Mexico,
  • Texas,
  • Wyoming,
  • Colorado,
  • Missouri,
  • Connecticut,
  • California Montana,
  • Wisconsin, and
  • Arizona.

According to this report, the guppy population found in Arizona and Florida does not appear to be self-sustaining.

Although guppies are seen across Texas, the only established guppies’ population is found in the San Antonio River near Brackenridge Park.

Guppies being tropical fish, reside in warm springs and canal systems.

Where Do Fancy Guppies Come From?

Fancy guppies come from guppy breeders.

Dedicated breeders take wild guppies and breed them into various strains to bring out their most vibrant colors.

This is why these guppies are called fancy guppies.

The only difference between regular guppies and fancy guppies is that the fancy guppies are bigger and richer in color than regular guppies.

Besides, fancy guppies have pretty tails making them more attractive compared to regular guppies.

Fancy guppies are hardy and colorful fish, just like other guppies. So they adapt to a wide variety of habitats.


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