• Brad Feller

Skiffia multipunctata, Splotched Splitfin

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

The Skiffia multipunctata, Pellegrin, (1901), a viviparous Goodeid, is endemic to central Mexico. It once inhabited the rios Lerma-Grande de Santiago basin, including the Lago de Chapala. Now they appear to be found only in Rio Duero system, which is a tributary to the lower Rio Lerma, including several springs near Zamora de Hidalgo and Tangancicuaro de Arista. S. multipunctata is rare in nature and, though not assessed by IUCN, is considered highly endangered by some sources. They are now found only in six of their fourteen original reported sites ("Species-Profiles").

A female within days of dropping fry. This female had nine fry.

From Tangancicuaro (Skimu1). Photo by author.

The name multipunctata is derived from Latin, and means "with many spots". The males have a brown to yellow base color with a highly variable pattern of black spots or splotches. The females are normally a plain gray-brown with no splotching ("Species-Profiles"). Maximum known SL is 72mm (Miller et al, 2005).1

Male from Tangancicuaro, (Skimu1)

Photo by author

They prefer a habitat of slow to moderate current in small lakes, rivers, spring-fed ponds, and ditches. They are found in clear to turbid water, over substrates of mud, silt, sand, and rocks. Vegetation consisting of green algae, water hyacinth, and cypress roots. Most often found in depths of 1 m or less (Miller et al 2005).

Male from Tangancicuaro (Skimu1)

Photo by author

Video footage from Chippewa Valley Aquatics, taken by the author

In captivity S. multipunctata tolerates a wide range of water parameters. At Chippewa Valley Aquatics, our water parameters are as follows: PH-7.6, Kh-7*, TDS-291, Temperature-66* F. They breed regularly, dropping 5-10 fry every thirty days or so. They don't appear to eat or harass their fry, making them easy to breed in colonies. They can be kept in 10 or 20 gallon tanks, but will require thinning every few months. It is not difficult to find people who want them.


2009. Species-Profiles. Goodeid working Group. http://www.goodeidworkinggroup.com/artificial-key . Accessed October 25, 2017.

Miller, Robert et al. Freshwater Fishes of Mexico. The University of Chicago Press, 2005

Keep On Keepin' Fish

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