swordtail

swordtail

[sawrd-teyl, sohrd-]
noun
any of several small, brightly colored, viviparous, freshwater fishes of the genus Xiphophorus, native to Central America, having the lower part of the caudal fin elongated into a swordlike structure: often kept in aquariums.
Also called helleri.


Origin:
1925–30; sword + tail1

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World English Dictionary
swordtail (ˈsɔːdˌteɪl)
 
n
any of several small freshwater cyprinodont fishes of the genus Xiphophorus, esp X. helleri, of Central America, having a long swordlike tail

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

swordtail

(Xiphophorus helleri), popular tropical fish of the live-bearer (q.v.) family Poeciliidae (order Atheriniformes). The swordtail is an elongated fish, growing to about 13 centimetres (5 inches) long and characterized, in the male, by a long, swordlike extension of the lower tail fin lobe. The fish is closely related to the platy (q.v.) and, like its relative, has been used extensively in genetic and medical research. Originally green with a red stripe on each side, the swordtail has been bred in many colour varieties

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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