Guppies are renowned for their vast diversity in patterns, colors, and tail shapes. This diversity gives rise to an array of guppy fish types, each offering unique aesthetics to an aquarium. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of over 50 guppy varieties stemming from selective breeding practices.
While I’ve tried to be thorough, the world of guppy breeding is ever-evolving, with breeders continuously introducing new varieties. If you notice any omissions, please feel free to bring them to my attention.
Different Types of Guppy Fish Species
Guppy fish are part of the Poeciliidae family, which includes the following guppy fish species:
1. Poecilia Reticulata (Common / Fancy Guppy)
Characterized by a wide global distribution and a popularity among aquarists, the common guppy fish is a hardy and adaptable livebearer that’s easy to breed and raise.
They’re also known as rainbowfish and millionfish, because of their variety and propensity to breed quickly and in large numbers.
2. Poecilia Wingei (Endler Guppy)
Also known as Endler’s Livebearer and Endler Guppy, it’s a close relative of the common guppy so much so that they’ll easily crossbreed, therefore, if you want to maintain the purity of each species, you should not allow them to hybridize.
Endler guppies are also strikingly colorful, easy to care for, and peaceful fish that will thrive on an omnivorous diet.
Unlike the common guppy, Endler guppy fish aren’t as readily available in pet stores, although you may find some pet stores that carry them.
3. Micropoecilia Picta (Swamp Guppies)
Unlike the other two types of guppies, the swamp guppy is not an exclusively freshwater fish, and can be found mostly in coastal swamps and brackish marshes.
Swamp guppies are also called Scarlet Livebearer, they’re small fish that are native to Central and South America. They’re omnivores and they’re rarely found in home aquaria.
Guppy Types by Tail Shape
Based on their tail shape alone, we can distinguish around 13 types of guppy fish. This variety is the result of years of selective breeding, and the list is continuously expanding as breeders succeed in developing new varieties:
Veiltail guppies have a tail that resembles an isosceles trapezoid. The tail can be colored in a single color or multiple, pattern like colors. Dorsal and ventral fins are usually elongated and flowy.
Also known as the Delta tail guppy, their tail shape resembles a triangle.
The triangle-tail guppy has an impressive tail size that’s beautifully colored or showcases interesting patterns.
Dorsal fins are long and flowy, ventral fins are usually smaller.
Fantail guppies have elegant-looking tails that resemble an open fan. This tail type is actually typical of fancy guppies. Dorsal fins can be elongated, ventral fins are usually smaller.
The scarf-tail guppy is also known as the flag-tail guppy. This tail shape is much narrower on the edges compared to the other tail types I mentioned so far but remains just as impressive in terms of colors and patterns.
5. Double Swordtail
The double swordtail guppy has a unique tail shape that sets them apart from other guppy fish.
It’s very similar to the tail of the swordtail fish, but instead of one elongated tail, the double swordtail guppy fish has two elongated tails shaped like a sword on either side of the tail base.
When the tail it’s elongated only on the upper or lower side of the tail, it creates two different guppy varieties.
6. Top Swordtail
Some swordtail guppies don’t feature double tails, instead the tail is elongated in only one edge like in the case of the top swordtail guppy, which features a tail that’s elongated at the top of its tail base.
With only one edge of the tail being elongated, it’s easy to see how these fish can resemble the swordtail fish.
7. Bottom Swordtail
The bottom swordtail guppy is a mirrored version of the top swordtail guppy, since only the bottom edge of their tail is elongated.
The edge of the tail which is not elongated is narrow and shaped like the tail of flagtail guppies.
The lyretail guppy is not very different from the double swordtail guppy. In fact, it’s a variation of the double tail guppy.
In case of the lyretail guppy, the tails look like they’re independent of each other but upon closer inspection you may notice that in fact they’re connected by a small transparent membrane.
Guppies with a paddle shaped tails are called cofertail guppies and they’re part of the short tail guppy category. This type of tail shape is featured in the Judging Standard for World Guppy Contests.
With a tail shaped like a spear, this type of guppy doesn’t have a particularly large tail, but it’s still an impressive-looking tail that gets your attention. Of course, there are variations within this category too with some tails being larger than others.
Well-rounded and usually on the shorter side, the roundtail guppy is another impressive specimen that can be an interesting choice for those interested in aesthetics and breeding unique and distinctly shaped guppies.
A bit similar to the spear tail guppy variety, the mid section of the pintail guppy’s tail is much more elongated, hence the name pintail.
Because of the long pointy tail, this guppy type is also referred to as the needle tail guppy. The tail sets out wider at the base and becomes more slender as it reaches the pin-like section, where it narrows out.
13. Halfmoon Tail
When it comes to guppy tail shapes, the halfmoon tailed guppy is my favorite. The tail starts out wide at the base and widens even further until it resembles a halfmoon.
It’s one of the more impressive-looking guppy tails, especially when it features an amalgam of colors and shapes.
These are some of the tail varieties you’re likely to come across when researching guppy tail shapes, but the list is not complete as breeders are constantly coming up with newer shapes, each more impressive than the one before.
Next, let’s see other guppy varieties based on body patterns, tail patterns and body colors.
Guppy Types by Body Pattern
In this category, we can distinguish the following guppy body patterns:
1. Tuxedo Guppies
These guppies usually feature two contrasted colors between the front and back of their body. The front of the body is a lighter color, while the lower section of the body is much darker, just like the color scheme on a classic tuxedo.
2. Cobra Guppies
These guppy varieties feature both vertical patterns and rosettes spotted throughout their body. Female cobra guppies will also show these patterns, although in a more subdued way compared to male cobra guppies, which showcase these patterns the best.
In terms of colors, they can be white, black, greed, bright orange, resulting in interesting and striking combinations of colors and patterns.
3. Snakeskin Guppies
Snakeskin guppies have a vertical pattern that spreads throughout their entire bodies. Sometimes, these patterns resemble the patterns of a tiger and the colors too featuring colors such as gold, orange and black.
Guppy Types by Tail and Body Pattern
While tail shapes are of course impressive, when it comes to tail patterns, things get turned up a notch. Here are the tail patterns you’re most likely to see in guppy fish:
1. Glass Guppies
Glass guppies have a genetic peculiarity that prevents the production of guanine, making them transparent. Guanine is essentially the silver dye that makes fish glisten and has the role of reflecting light and thus preventing transparency.
It may happen that in glass guppies, black melanin also falters, which further accentuates the transparency of their bodies. Glass guppies are bred like albino guppies.
2. Leopard Guppies
The pattern of leopard guppies vaguely resembles the spots on leopards.
These patterns are dark-colored, which results in a great contrast with brighter and lighter colors.
3. Mosaic Guppies
The tail of mosaic guppies features irregular patterns linked together in unique and distinctive ways.
This type of pattern lends the tail an attractive vibe, especially when it’s combined with colors that complement or contrast each other.
4. Lace Guppies
You’re most likely to find this pattern on guppies that feature the snakeskin pattern. This delicate, lace-like pattern extends to the entire body. The tail is usually fan-shaped and preferred colors can vary from blue hues to reddish and golden colors.
Guppy Types by Colors
If you think there are already many types of guppies based on tail shape and patterns alone, wait until you see the sheer number of colors and color variations expressed by guppy fish.
Here are 25+ types of guppies based on color schemes:
1. Albino Guppy
The albino guppy’s body is mostly white, sometimes with hints of other colors throughout its body. Their eyes can be soft-pint or red, and their face can also be soft-pink colored.
All these features make the albino guppy a delicate-looking, elegant fish. The reason why these fish don’t display the strong vibrant colors we’re used to seeing in guppies is because their bodies don’t produce black melanin pigment.
Beyond all-white and soft-pink varieties, you can get reddish-white and yellow-white colors, all soft, delicate tints.
2. White Guppy
Milky white pastel-colored fish are also called white guppies. The goal with the white guppy is to eliminate secondary colors, including colored eyes.
3. Black Guppy
With the black guppy, the goal is to create a charcoal black guppy that features no secondary colors. However, most black guppies will have some hints of other colors besides black.
Smaller to mid-size guppies will better showcase the deep black color that breeders are after in this guppy variety, while breeding for larger sized guppies will result in a loss of black in the body, making these fish more difficult to show.
4. Blue Guppy
A true blue guppy is usually a show-stopper — it has an electric, solid-blue color, sometimes with shades of sky blue and dark blue, resulting in a visually striking specimen and variety within the strain itself.
5. Neon Blue Guppy
An extravagantly colored guppy, the neon blue guppy has a much lighter coloring compared to the classic blue guppy.
6. Japanese Blue Guppy
You may also see this blue guppy variety named Japanese blue swordtail guppy or Japanese blue Endler guppy because this color scheme is typical for the swordtail guppy. It has a platinum baby blue color on their body starting from the mid-section all the way to the end of their tails.
7. Green Guppy
In high demand, these guppies are hard to breed, which explains the hefty price tag they can be acquired for. They showcase attractive shades of green, sometimes with hints of blue.
8. Red Guppy
With a solid red as the dominant color, most of the body of their body is colored in an eye-catching red. In the case of the red guppy, color variations also exist.
9. Yellow Guppy
The yellow-blonde coloration in these fish can be maintained mostly in medium-sized guppies and black melanin reduction is necessary to maintain their color. Difficult to breed and hard to obtain.
10. Purple Guppy
This guppy strain usually comes in a vibrant shade of purple that covers at least half of their body as well as fins and tail.
11. Bronze Guppy
A variation of the gold guppy, the bronze guppy must have at least 25% of its body in gold color and must feature black scales.
12. Golden Guppy
Like the bronze guppy, the golden guppy must also meet the 25% gold color on its body to be considered a golden strain.
13. Half-Black Blue Guppy
Half of the body of this guppy strain is black, while the other half features various shades of blue.
14. Half-Black Green Guppy
Difficult to breed, this half-black guppy variety has a black half body, while the other half is green with shades of gold and even other colors.
15. Half-Black Red Guppy
With one half of the body being black and the rest covered in red including tails and fins, this guppy strain is a marvel to look at.
16. Half-Black Yellow Guppy
Showcasing two colors — black and yellow — that contrast beautifully, the HB Yellow Guppy is a sight to behold, especially when the tail is also dotted with black patterns.
17. Half-Black Purple Guppy
Half-black body, deep purple tails and fins, this guppy variety is another exquisite example of what selective breeding can achieve in guppies.
18. Half-Black Pastel Guppy
The non-black parts of pastel guppy fish can have any pastel color except for yellow. Caudal fin is usually white pastel in these fish.
19. Solid Colored Guppies
These guppies can have blue, yellow, red and even black colors and they’re characterized by having one solid color both on body and fins.
20. Bi-Colored Guppy
Bi-colored guppies have a clear base color, which can be red, green or blue, or any other color, which doesn’t meet the previous color categories. The secondary color must make up at least 25% of their tail color and must be distinct from the primary color.
21. Multi Colored Guppy
Multi-colored guppies have at least three color options, where all colors should have an equal distribution in the tail and must be present in more than 15% in the tail.
22. Metal Guppies
Metal guppies have a unique ability to hide from predators thanks to the iridophores pigment that allows them to change into colors that mimic their environment.
23. Koi Guppy
Koi guppies resemble the color scheme of koi fish. They have red tails, a white body and a red face. These features can sometimes be found even in the female fish.
24. Panda Guppy
This strain displays a dark black color around the eyes, dorsal fins and tail up to the midsection of the body. The other half is a lighter color, resembling the color scheme of a panda.
25. Jarawee Lazuli Guppy
Named after the aquamarine blue color of the lapis lazuli gemstone, this guppy strain has a blue head and it’s similar to the Japan blue guppy. The additional color gene on its Y-chromosome is what lends this guppy the blue color of its head.
26. Moscow Guppy
The Moscow Guppy variety can feature solid black, purple and green variants and have long, fancy tails.
27. Platinum Guppy
This guppy strain has platinum colors on their entire body, caudal and dorsal fins and tail. They’re not large and they usually have a long tail, which makes them look elegant.
28. Dragon Head Guppy
This guppy lives up to its name, sporting an interesting color scheme and tail pattern. Tail and dorsal fins display brighter red-orange colors, while the body of the fish is a dark color up until its midsection, where it brightens out.
These were some of the most appealing guppy colors that selective breeding has produced so far. If you’re going to breed show guppies, there are strict standards by which show guppies are judged, therefore, you should familiarize yourself with these standards.
Guppy Type by Eye Color
Most guppies have dark eyes and usually not worth noting, but there are some color variations even when it comes to guppy eyes:
1. Real Red Eye Guppy
These guppies are rare, and they’re usually quite small. Yet, their eyes do have a bright red, red-orange color, which is easily noticeable.
2. Real Red Eye Albino Guppy
Albino fish lack melanin pigment in their eyes, which explains the reddish hue color they end up with. These varieties have paler eyes than the RRE guppy.
Guppy Types by Pectoral Fins
When it comes to pectoral fins, there’s an interesting guppy variety, namely the:
Dumbo Ear Guppy
Dumbo ear guppies are also called elephant guppies because of their large pectoral fins that sit on both sides of the fish. These guppies can have various patterns and color schemes.
Other Types of Guppies
You’ve so far seen a multitude of guppies each fancier and more vibrant than the other. Most of these guppies have a well-defined lineage.
However, there’s a guppy type that’s hardy, but not as fancy:
Mutt guppies, while genetically varied, possess unpredictable lines. This lack of consistency renders them less striking when juxtaposed with the illustrious fancy guppies, which are masterpieces of meticulous selective breeding. Yet, in their unpredictability lies a unique allure.
Types of Female Guppies
Female guppies tend to be less vibrant than their male counterparts. They are larger in size, with bigger fins that take on a rounded shape. While their fins can exhibit brighter shades, their bodies remain fairly pale.
A notable feature in females is the gravid spot located above their anal fin. This spot darkens and enlarges when the female is pregnant.
Though females can display a range of colors, their hues are often more subdued compared to males.
Breeders are intensifying efforts in selective breeding to produce more colorful females. While there are successes, such as with koi guppies, achieving the same depth of colors and patterns present in males remains a challenge.
Big Ear Female Guppy
Characterized by noticeably larger pectoral fins, the Big Ear Female Guppy showcases an interesting deviation from the norm. While generally less vibrant than males, their distinctive “big ears” are a fascinating feature.
Tuxedo Female Guppy
The Tuxedo Female Guppy often boasts a two-toned body, reminiscent of a tuxedo. The contrast, while subdued compared to males, adds a unique touch to this variety.
Cobra Female Guppy
Known for its subtle snake-like patterns, the Cobra Female Guppy displays muted speckles and streaks on her body. While not as vivid as their male counterparts, they add a textured look to the aquarium.
Female for Blue Moscow
Specifically paired with the vibrant Blue Moscow males, these females typically have a pale bluish hue, complementing the striking blue of the males. They form an elegant duo in tanks.
Female for Yellow Cobra
Chosen to complement Yellow Cobra males, these females possess a soft yellow tint. Their understated elegance contrasts beautifully with the bolder patterns of their male counterparts.
The realm of guppies is both vast and diverse. For those diving into professional guppy breeding, a world of wonder awaits.
Given the myriad varieties being cultivated, it’s conceivable that a list like this—featuring over 50 types of guppies—could evolve and expand in the coming years.
Certain guppy strains, owing to their rarity, command a premium, elevating their market value.
With such an array of guppy types, there’s always a fresh fascination to anticipate each day.
I trust the captivating beauty and diversity of guppies demonstrate why they reign as one of the most cherished and popular freshwater fish.