Guppies are a very easy-to-breed fish species. They also adapt quickly to their environment and this is what makes them perfect for beginner aquarists. They do not require special living conditions and suitable food is easy to find and very affordable, so their upkeep is very inexpensive also.
They can be found in any pet store that sells tropical fish and come in a wide range of shapes and colors. As for the main categories, there are fancy guppies, kept for displaying their beautiful colors, and feeder guppies, used as food for larger carnivorous fish, like cichlids, Piranhas, and others.
Breeders are constantly trying to develop new varieties through selective breeding, so it is very difficult to have a complete list of guppy types, but some specific features can still categorize them: color, pattern, and fin type.
Males are usually more brightly colored than females, a main distinguish between different genders. There are many different strains based on the main coloration, including metallic, albino, and uni-colors.
Metal Guppies get their metallic shades from special pigmented cells, Iridophores. These cells reflect the color of their surroundings instead of having their own solid color and create an iridescent effect.
Solid colored Guppies are the most common strain with greens, blues, reds, and yellows being the most available. This category also includes the newly developed Moscow strains (like Moscow greens or Moscow purples), where fish are of the same solid color, yet their bodies are very large and sturdy.
Albino Guppies are recognized by their red eyes and lack of black melanin. They still come in many colors, especially reds and yellows.
Guppies are a very easy-to-breed fish species. They also adapt quickly to their environment, and this is what makes them perfect for beginner aquarists. In addition, they do not require special living conditions, and suitable food is easy to find and very affordable, so their upkeep is very inexpensive also.
You can find them in any pet store that sells tropical fish and come in a wide range of shapes and colors. As for the main categories, there are fancy guppies, kept for displaying their beautiful colors, and feeder guppies, used as food for larger predatory fish, like cichlids, Piranhas, and others.
Breeders are constantly developing new varieties through selective breeding, so having a complete list of guppy types is tough. However, some specific features can still categorize them: color, pattern, and fin type.
Species of Guppy
1. Fancy Guppy
Fancy Guppies (Poecilia Reticulata) are also called Common Guppies, Rainbowfish, and Millionfish because of their vast groups and easy breeding. They live in huge numbers all across the globe. So naturally, they are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of changes in living conditions.
2. Endler’s Guppy
Endler’s Guppy (Poecilia Wingei) and the Fancy Guppy often crossbreed and are equally popular with aquarists. These are also known as Endler’s Livebearer or Endler Guppy. Endler Guppies are more colorful and, just like their relatives, pretty hardy and easy to breed. But, unlike the Fancy Guppy, you will not find these in regular pet stores as they are not often sold locally.
3. Swamp Guppy
Swamp Guppies (Micropoecilia Picta) are different from the first two as they are not purely freshwater fish. They can inhabit freshwater, as well as swamps, and even marshes with salty water. Other names of the Swamp Guppy are Scarlet Livebearer. Since they are omnivores and not exclusively a freshwater species, you will not find them in many home aquariums.
Guppy Types by Tail Shape
Guppy types created during the multiple years of selective breeding give rise to different tail shapes. Most of the time, you can easily differentiate between guppies by looking at the way their tails are. Let’s look at some common varieties that differ in tail shape.
Fantail guppies look pretty sophisticated. Their tail type resembles that of Fancy guppies. They look like they have a small fan attached to them as they move around the tank. Fantails have an elongated body and thin, short ventral fins. Their dorsal fins are longer.
Veiltail fish have a tail that looks like a trapezoid but in a triangle shape. The tail of Veiltail guppies can be single-colored or multi-colored, and sometimes they even have patterns on their tails. Their ventral and dorsal fins are pretty thin and delicate. The fins are long and float behind them as they move around.
6. Triangle Tail
Triangle tail guppies have triangular tails. They have another name, ‘Delta tail’ guppy, as it resembles the delta symbol. This tail is enormous and is brightly colored. The ventral fins are smaller and less flowy than the dorsal fins of the Triangle Tail guppy.
The Lyretail guppy looks very different from the others of its kind based on the color and the marks on its tail. Just like the Double Swordtail guppy, it also has two long edges on its tail. However, the unique thing about the tail here is that it looks like the two edges are separate. But when you look closely, they are both connected by a thin sheet-like membrane.
As their name suggests, Roundtail guppies have a round tail that is relatively short. The dorsal and ventral fins of the fish are also lacking. What attracts the most attention is its metallic color. They make for an excellent addition to increase the tank’s beauty.
Scarf Tail guppies are the same as Flagtails. The only difference is the coloration or patterns of their body. Compared to other guppies, the tails of Scarf Tails are shorter and thinner.
10. Bottom Swordtail
Bottom Swordtail guppies are very easy to identify. One side of their tails elongates more than the other, and if it’s the bottom part, it is called a Bottom Swordtail guppy.
11. Double Swordtail
The Double Swordtail guppy looks different from its other companions because of its incredible tail. This guppy belongs to the swordtail group, but instead of having one long tail like the swordfish, it has two. It is why the tail is called a ‘double swordtail.’ On both sides of the fish, there are two sword-like tails.
As we will learn shortly, if the tail extends more on the upper side of the lower side, they become two different guppy species.
12. Top Swordtail
Like the Bottom Swordtail and the Double Swordtail, the Top Swordtail guppy also has one elongated tail. However, this one is on the top part of the tail.
Some swordtail guppies don’t have double tails at all, or only one edge is slightly elongated. By carefully observing how the swordtail fish looks, you will distinguish between the Top and the Bottom Swordtail.
13. Cofer Tail
Cofertail guppies belong to the group of guppies with a short tail. They are called Cofer guppies because of the shape of the tail that looks like paddles of a boat.
14. Half-Moon Tail
Half-Moon tail guppies are showstoppers in a tank with their vibrant hues and broad half-moon-like tails. The tail fans out in an impressive array of colors.
Spear Tail guppies’ name is self-explanatory. They have a spear-like til shape. The tail is not as large as their other relatives, but it is pretty attention-grabbing. Just like the Swordtail guppies, there are different categories of guppies within the Speartail family.
A Pintail guppy looks the same as the Speartail guppy, except that the middle part of its body is longer, which is why it is called a ‘Pintail.’ A portion of its tail starts at the base and becomes thinner as it moves up, like a pin. Some also call it the ‘Needle Tail guppy.’
Guppy Types by Body and Tail Patterns
Patterns are another distinguishing mark of the different guppy strains. They can be located on the body or fins and include Tuxedos, Cobra, Snakeskin, Leopard, Mosaic, or Lace. But, if you’re trying to identify the type of guppy, then only looking at the body pattern is not the only marker.
17. Tuxedo Guppies
Their name suggests that these guppies appear to wear a tiny tuxedo at the front of their bodies. You can identify Tuxedo guppies by the two different colors accentuating their body. These colors, one at the front and one for the rest of its body, make it look like a tuxedo. The lighter shade of the two is often found in the front part of their tail.
18. Cobra Guppies
Cobra guppies are some of the easiest to identify, with their spotted pattern covering all parts of their body. They have spots on their bodies, tails, and fins. Cobra guppies also come in multi-colored designs. Some standard colors of the Cobras are orange, black, white, silver, and green.
19. Snakeskin Guppies
Snakeskin guppies are true to their names with their snake-like markings and stripe-like patterns. Some snakeskin guppies may have patterns resembling the spots and whorls of a tiger too.
20. Lace Guppies
Lace guppies have tail fins that look pretty delicate and intricately woven together, much like lace. Their tails are like the Fantails guppies. Lace guppies belong to a subcategory of snakeskin guppies because of the marking on their body. If you spot a Snakeskin guppy with red or orange tails and body patterns of a snake with a fanned out tail fin, then that is a Lace guppy.
21. Leopard Guppies
Leopard Guppies have distinct markings that resemble a leopard. You can see these on their tail fins. These guppies come in orange, black, red, white, blue, with black spots dotting them.
22. Mosaic Guppies
Mosaic Guppies fall under Fancy Guppies due to their metallic and often translucent colors. We have already looked at some guppies that belong to Mosaic guppies: the Delta tail guppies and the Half-Moon guppies.
23. Glass Guppies
Glass Guppies are one of the guppies that you can spot by observing their tail pattern. They have large and flowy tails that are transparent, lending them an ethereal look. For Glass Guppies, this transparent tail of theirs is a winning point. The transparency comes from a lack of silver dye and makes them look metallic with refined colors on the tail.
Guppy Types by Coloration
One of the biggest reasons why guppies are so in demand is because of their brilliant hues. With more than 300 species of guppies, you can imagine the wide variety they come in.
Even though overall, these are pretty average and low-maintenance fish, their beauty is the main selling point.
Like most fish species, guppy males are usually more brightly colored than females, which is the main distinction between different genders. There are many different strains based on the primary coloration, including metallic, albino, and uni-colors.
24. Albino Guppy
Albino Guppies are a white, iridescent variety of guppies. The white part of their bodies has a soft lining of pink. In the fish community, albino fish are rare. Albino guppies are also unique because they are some of the only fish to have red eyes. Their tail fins can be triangular or Delta shaped or resemble a flag. Like other albino animals and creatures, even the Albino guppy does not produce the black melanin pigment.
25. White Guppy
White guppies are not purely white-colored. Their colors border on silver or pinkish-white, and sometimes, they can have colored eyes.
26. Black Guppy
Black guppies add a deep sense of aesthetic value to your tank simply because of the color of their bodies. They have an obsidian black monochromatic color running throughout their body. But, even within this deep black color, there are some shades of greys and dark greys. The black color is more prominent in smaller guppies. Larger guppies have more of a mixed shade.
27. Blue Guppy
Blue guppies look beautiful with their electric blue shade. Sometimes, this blue intersperses sky blue and even cobalt blue, which looks equally mesmerizing.
28. Neon Blue Guppy
Neon Blue guppies are similar to the Blue guppies except that they have lighter colors compared to the blue guppies.
29. Japanese Blue Guppy
Japanese Blue Guppies are also called Swordtail guppies or Japanese Blue Endler guppies. The way their colors are, they resemble swordtail guppies a lot. Their color is light blue which starts in the middle of their body and ends at their tails.
30. Purple Guppy
The Purple guppies are vibrantly purple, but just like the others, they have multiple other purple shades.
31. Bronze Guppy
Bronze guppies are similar to Golden guppies. The main difference between the two is that the bronze guppy has golden and black scales. Only less than a quarter of its body is purely golden.
32. Green Guppy
Green Guppies are more expensive compared to their other relatives. It is harder to find and more valuable because it does not breed quickly. However, the green color they sport is quite attractive.
33. Red Guppy
Red Guppies are mostly all red, with hints of yellow and orange on their body. Their color looks luminous if the sunlight hits them in the right places. Even in the Red guppy, there are many color differences.
34. Yellow Guppy
Yellow guppies are not entirely yellow. Just like the green ones, these guppies are valuable because of the difficulty in breeding them. Their color is more of a yellow-blonde, and they have red or silver patches around their mouths. Their tail fins can be varying shades of yellow. To maintain their yellow hues, the fish need a sufficient amount of black melanin reduction.
35. Golden Guppy
For you to consider a Golden guppy a part of the golden variation, it must meet the criteria of having at least 25% of its body in a pure golden shade.
36. Half-Black Green Guppy
The Half-Black Green guppies are rare because they are hard to breed. This train has a black half-body, and the other part of their body is greenish-gold or different colors.
37. Half-Black Blue Guppy
Like its other counterparts, this guppy has half a black body while the other half is in varying shades of blue.
38. Half-Black Yellow Guppy
Like its other relatives, the Half-Black Yellow guppies contrast beautifully with one primary shade and one cool shade. What makes them even more beautiful is that their tails have black dots.
39. Half-Black Red Guppy
Half of their back bodies, plus ventral and dorsal fins and tails, are red, and the first half is black. This stark contrast makes them a show-stopper.
40. Half-Black Purple Guppy
Guppies with half colors, such as Half-Black Red or Half-Black Yellow, result from selective breeding. Similarly, even the Half-Purple strain is a selectively bred species. They have a half-black body, and their tails and fins are purple.
41. Half-Black Pastel Guppy
This variety is very aesthetically pleasing with its softer shades. Even though half of its body is black, the other half can be any pastel shade such as light blue, light pink, etc. They are never yellow, though. One other thing that sets them apart is their caudal fin, which is always white.
42. Solid Colored Guppies
Solid-colored guppies are pretty easy to find. These fish have solid colors without any gradient mixing. Their bodies and fins have one solid color, such as yellow, red, black, green, etc.
43. Koi Guppies
Koi guppies get their name from the koi fish because they have a similar color pattern. Their tails and face are red, and their body has white patches.
44. Bi-Colored Guppies
Bi-colored guppies are the guppies that are mentioned above, having two colors. They are called bi-colored because they have a base color, which can be red, blue, or any other hue. The secondary color base of the guppy is different from the primary base. The criteria for them to meet the ‘bi-colored label is that they must have at least 25% of the primary base color.
45. Metal Guppies
Metal guppies are sneaky and act as water chameleons. They can change their colors into a metallic shade to blend in with their surroundings. This ability is due to the presence of a pigment called ‘iridophores.’ This perk comes in handy when trying to save themselves from predators.
46. Multi-Colored Guppies
Multi-colored guppies have three or more three shades. Unlike bi-colored guppies, these do not need a fixed percentage to be called ‘multi-colored.’ They must only have an equal amount of color of each shade present. One requirement is that the tail should have at least 15% of each of their body colors.
47. Panda Guppies
Just like pandas, they have a circle of color around their eyes, their fins, and to the middle of their body. The other part of their body often has a light color, closely resembling white.
48. Jarawee Lazuli Guppy
The Jarawee Lazuli guppies are named after the gem Lapis Lazuli. As the name suggests, the color of the fish is blue, mainly on their head. This fish is a similar-looking strain to the Japanese blue guppy.
49. Moscow Guppy
Moscow Guppies have many different strains featuring purple, green, black colors. They also have long tails.
50. Platinum Guppy
Platinum guppies have a metallic platinum color on their body. Even their fins and long tails are platinum, and slight hints of other shades can accentuate these colors. The Platinum guppies are not as big as the others in size.
51. Dragon Head Guppy
Dragon Head guppies have a color pattern similar to that of dragons. Their tails and fins are a fiery orange shade, and the color flushes up to their mouths, where it becomes darker. The hue slowly dissolves into scaly whites and blacks near their eyes.
Guppy Type by Eye Color
Most guppies have dark eyes, so they are not worth mentioning. But, the below categories of guppies have some color variations. Let’s have a look:
52. Real Red Eye Guppy
Real Red Eye guppies are tiny, but despite their size, you can notice their red eyes. Their eyes are a brighter shade of red compared to an Albino guppy’s eyes.
53. Real Red Eye Albino Guppy
As mentioned earlier, Albino guppies are rare and do not have a melanin pigment in their eyes, giving them red eyes. But, these guppies have a lighter shade of red in their eyes.
Other Unique Types of Guppy
54. Dumbo Ear Guppy
The Dumbo ear guppy has elephant guppies (named after Dumbo, the animated elephant). The reason for their name is the large pectoral fins that these fish have on both their sides.
55. Mutt Guppies
Mutt guppies are tough, hardy but they are not as impressive as their companions. Mutt guppies are named so because they can be genetically different or do not have a set strain. These fish are also a result of selective breeding.
How many types of guppies are there?
As seen earlier, numerous types of guppies differ in tail shape, color, and even fins. Scientists estimate that more than 300 types of guppies belong to the family Poeciliidae in the genus Poecilia.
What is the rarest guppy?
One of the rarest guppies is estimated to be the Glass Guppy in a galaxy blue color, which comes from a Japanese strain called blue variegated cobra.
How do I identify my guppies?
You can identify guppies by observing the body shape, size, colors, and patterns on the body. As per the above guide, even looking and identifying the tail shapes will clarify what category the guppy belongs to.
Can you put different types of guppies together?
Yes, most guppies live together harmoniously if there is an excellent male-to-female ratio. Try to keep an equal number of females to males to stop aggressiveness amongst them. While you can keep most species of guppies together, if you’re looking to breed them, then this is not a good idea. If you keep multiple species of guppies in the same tank, they will inter-breed. To protect the purity of the strain, you can keep a single species together in pairs, or in a bigger community tank.
As guppies come in all shapes and colors, as well as many pattern combinations, by finding these features in countless combinations, you can actually find an appealing guppy. If not, you can try breeding fish with the features you like, until finding the perfect guppy. You can also try to give them away and sell them if you think you can do best while breeding, like the ones you find more or less appealing, which could certainly attract the eye of other people. Whether you want to show them or just keep them as pets, guppies are quite fascinating fish and very easy to care for, so you can give them a try and prepare to be amazed by genetics.