Last Updated: March 22, 2023 by Flora Gibbins
The guppy family is one colorful and ever-growing species. Guppies come in all sorts of colors, shapes, and patterns. These beautiful fish make excellent pets for beginners and hobbyists.
But have you ever wondered how many types of guppies there are? Well, there are over fifty guppy species. And each guppy is as unique as it is interesting.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading.
- Types of Guppies: By Species
- Types of Guppies: By Tail Shape
- 4. Fantail Guppies
- 5. Flag Tail Guppy
- 6. Round Tail Guppy
- 7. Needle Tail Guppy
- 8. Veil Tail Guppies
- 9. Delta Tail Guppies
- 10. Top Sword-Tail Guppies
- 11. Bottom Swordtail Guppies
- 12. Double Sword-Tail Guppies
- 13. Halfmoon Tail Guppies
- 14. Spade Tail Guppy
- 15. LyreTail Guppy
- 16. Fire Tail Guppy
- 17. Spear Tail Guppy
- Types of Guppies: Tail Patterns
- Types of Guppies: Body Patterns
- Types of Guppies: Body Color
- 26. Solid Colored Guppies
- 27. Green Guppy
- 28. Yellow Guppies
- 29. Purple Guppies
- 30. Red Guppy
- 31. Golden Guppy
- 32. Bronze Guppy
- 33. Japanese Blue Guppy
- 34. Blue Guppy
- 35. Neon Blue Guppy
- 36. Black Guppy
- 37. White Guppy
- 38. Albino Guppy
- 39. Bi-Colored Guppies
- 40. Half Black Purple Guppy
- 41. Half Black Blue Guppy
- 42. Half Black Green Guppy
- 43. Half Black Yellow Guppy
- 44. Half-Black Red Guppy
- 45. Half-Black Pastel Guppy
- 46. Red Bi-Color Guppy
- 47. Koi Guppy
- 48. Metal Guppy
- 49. Multi-Colored Guppy
- 50. Moscow Guppy
- 51. Panda Guppy
- 52. AOC (Any Other Color)
- Other Types of Guppies
- Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Guppies
- Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Guppies: By Species
The family is further broken down into three species:
- Fancy guppies
- Endler guppies
- Swamp guppies
Let’s look into each of these guppy types.
1. Fancy Guppies
The scientific name for fancy guppies is Poecilia reticulata. They are native to South America and are also called million fish and rainbow fish. Fancy guppies are the most popular type of guppies and are readily available in pet stores.
Aquarium owners love their color diversity, their ability to breed easily, and that they are easy to care for. Moreover, the fancy tail guppies thrive well in enclosed tanks, provided the water conditions are optimal.
2. Endler Guppies
The scientific name for Endler guppies is Poecilia wingei. They, too, are attractive, adaptable, and thrive in enclosed aquariums. They come in contrasting colors that may feature glowing colors, iridescent shades, or metallic tones.
Since its first discovery in 1937, the Endler guppy has been crossbred with other guppies to produce unique species. Even then, their population is less than the fancy guppy.
These guppies enjoy warm water temperatures.
3. Swamp Guppies
The scientific name for swamp guppy is Poecilia picta (Micropoecilia picta). These guppy fish are also referred to as painted guppy or scarlet livebearers. The species inhabits freshwater, brackish water, and coastal swamps and are rare in pet stores and aquariums.
Swamp guppies are originally from Central and South America. They are available in different colors, with most having a red or orange-reddish color.
Types of Guppies: By Tail Shape
In the wild, guppies evolve naturally, and their tails do not exhibit intense variation. However, due to the immense selective breeding, the guppies’ tail shape and size keep changing.
Today, the tail shape is a distinguishing factor among guppies. The following are guppy types by the tail.
4. Fantail Guppies
These guppies’ tails resemble an open fan.
These fish also have an elongated dorsal fin that runs up to a third of the tailfin’s length.
Fantail guppy species come in all sorts of colors. Fish owners prefer them because they are easy maintenance and hardy.
5. Flag Tail Guppy
Another name for flag tail guppy is a scarf-tail guppy. Their tail has narrower edges, unlike other guppy tails. Also, the tail takes a rectangular shape and looks like a flag blowing in the wind as the guppy swims.
Some people believe the flag tail guppy mutated from the delta tail guppy. However, their tail shapes are quite different.
6. Round Tail Guppy
Round tail guppies have distinctly rounded tails. They measure half the body length of the guppy. Many wild guppies have round tails, and this is likely because original guppy tails had this shape. The round tail is often transparent, showing the fish’s internal structure.
The round tail guppy is a suitable breeding species if you are looking to create a unique variation.
7. Needle Tail Guppy
Needletail guppy, also known as pin tail guppy, features a pointy-end tail. The tail starts wide, gets longer towards the middle, and ends in a needle-like shape. These fish are unique and interesting to watch.
8. Veil Tail Guppies
The tail shape of veil tail guppies resembles an isosceles triangle. It inclines at a 45-degree angle with straight edges. The tail often matches the guppy’s body length.
These guppies also have trailing pelvic fins and long, flowing dorsal fins.
9. Delta Tail Guppies
Delta tail guppies have tails that look like a triangle hence the name triangle tail guppies. The tail forms a 70-degree angle when flared out. The delta guppy’s tail is large compared to the overall body and features straight edges. The fish also has long, flowing dorsal fins.
10. Top Sword-Tail Guppies
These guppies derive their name from the sword-like ray present at the top of their tail. The tail is long and narrow to showcase the unique sword extension. The ray can either be parallel to the body or inclined upwards at a 15-degree angle.
Bottom swordtail guppies are similar to top swordtails, except their sword-like ray is at the bottom. They, too, have a parallel ray to the body or are inclined downwards at 15-degree angles. The asymmetrical look on the swordtail guppy makes it uniquely attractive.
12. Double Sword-Tail Guppies
These swordtail guppies have sword-like blade tips on the upper and lower part of their tail. The middle part of the tail is shorter, while the ends are elongated. Most times, these elongated swordtails are about the same size as the guppy’s body length.
The double sword edges create a 30-degree angle or more.
13. Halfmoon Tail Guppies
The Halfmoon tail guppy is another type of guppy with an impressive, large, and wide tail. Its fancy tail looks like a half-moon with a 180-degree curvature angle. Moreover, the species has numerous distinct colors and intricate patterns that guppy breeders love for selective breeding.
14. Spade Tail Guppy
The guppy has a short tail that looks like a spade. The spade length is often half the length of the fish or less.
You can find this species in guppy competitions. Judges choose the winning guppies by the size and shape of their tails.
15. LyreTail Guppy
The lyre tail guppy is a cross between a double sword and double tail guppies. They have double-tail fins shaped like a lyre. The middle part of the tail is short with a transparent membrane, while the upper and lower edges are approximately 4/5 of the fish’s body.
The lyre tail guppies are not a colorful type of guppies, but they mature faster to reach 2.5 inches long.
16. Fire Tail Guppy
The fire tail guppy gets its name from its reddish-orange tail that looks like fire embers. When these guppies swim in the water, their tails look like underwater fire. These beauties are truly eye-catching.
17. Spear Tail Guppy
Spear tail guppies have a perfectly round tail with the shape of a spearhead. The tail is wide as it is long, but not as long as the body length.
Some believe they are a result of crossbreeding needle tail and spade tail guppies, while others believe it is a mutation of the Round tail or Cofer tail guppy.
Types of Guppies: Tail Patterns
In addition to tail shapes, you can differentiate guppies by the uniqueness of their tails. The patterns accentuate the guppy’s beauty making them more desirable.
Here are some guppy tail patterns.
18. Glass Guppies
These guppies are also referred to as Glass Tail guppies or Glass Belly Guppy. Glass guppies are incapable of reflecting light. They cannot produce enough guanine, a genetic component that makes scales shiny or silvery.
These fish have light colors and are almost transparent without guanine, hence the glass name. Most glass guppies are subjects for research about the breeding process and organ functionality.
Glass guppies make excellent beginner fish since they are low-maintenance.
19. Grass Tail Guppy
Grass tail guppies have small dots that look like grass seeds, hence the name. The species closely resembles the leopard guppies. To differentiate the two, grass tail guppies have smaller spots with a finer pattern than leopard tail guppies.
The grass tail guppy comes in all sorts of striking colors.
20. Lace Guppies
Lace guppies are closely related to snakeskin guppies. They have a similar body pattern, but their tail features a lace-like pattern of light and dark spots. The lace pattern shines in water and compliments the guppy’s vibrant tones.
21. Mosaic Guppies
Mosaic guppies are genetically linked to leopard guppies. However, mosaic guppies have unique and irregular color patterns. Delta tail and Halfmoon guppies with the mosaic pattern look irresistibly attractive in their metallic or iridescent colors.
22. Leopard Tail Guppy
The leopard tail guppy appears to have leopard spots on its tail. Some species have these spots on their tail and body. The spots appear dark or black with lighter shades on the dorsal fins, tail, and caudal peduncle.
Types of Guppies: Body Patterns
There are three major guppy body patterns: tuxedo, snakeskin, and cobra. Here is a breakdown of each body pattern.
23. Tuxedo Guppies
Tuxedo guppies have two color tones, a dark and a light one like a tuxedo suit. The front part of the guppy will have a lighter tone, while the back will have a darker tone. The tails and fins can take either shade.
24. Snakeskin Guppies
Snakeskin guppies have vertical, snake-like markings, but some species resemble tiger-like patterns. The pattern runs from the body to the tail fins with a contrast of light and dark colors. The most common colors include orange, black, and gold.
25. Cobra Guppies
Cobra guppies have a distinct look thanks to their vertical stripes and well-defined rosettes. The intricate pattern is more highlighted by the male guppies.
Types of cobra guppies include:
- Black cobra
- Blue cobra
- Green cobra
- Red cobra
- Violet cobra
The above guppies share the cobra pattern except for their body color.
Types of Guppies: Body Color
Guppies come in all sorts of colors. But the easiest way to break this down is by identifying whether their color variation is solid, bi-color, half-and-half, or multi-colored.
26. Solid Colored Guppies
Solid colored guppies have just one shade of color which can be black, golden, blue, red, yellow, green, white, or purple. They are rarer and more expensive than multi-colored guppy fish.
27. Green Guppy
Creating a green guppy requires dedication, even among professional breeders. This is why they are rare and expensive too. Green guppies often have shades of green with tiny hints of blue.
28. Yellow Guppies
Yellow guppies are a rare species because they are challenging to breed. These guppies have yellow bodies that breeders obtain after engaging in multiple selective breeding sessions. They also have a blonde gene that reduces black gene domination.
These guppies are not brightly-colored, but they have a metallic shine. If you’d love to add one to your tank, be prepared to pay a hefty buying price. Also, since they are rare, you will have to look for a professional breeder who rears them.
29. Purple Guppies
Purple guppies are also among the most expensive guppies. For starters, they are visually attractive with their purple color variation. They may have a violet or dark purple color across their body or have shades of other colors.
The breed is among the newest guppy species on the market. They, too, are challenging to breed.
30. Red Guppy
The dominant color on these guppies is solid red or deep-red. The male guppies have more intense colors, with the red color covering their whole body, including the eyes. Red guppies can have other color variations, including maroon-red, red-gold, or orange-red.
The most expensive red guppies are those without color variations.
31. Golden Guppy
Some fish have a full-gold display, while others have varied color variations. Regardless, golden guppies are impressive to watch.
32. Bronze Guppy
Bronze guppies require at least 25% gold and black scales to become part of the bronze variation. They are considered a mutation of golden guppies hence the 25% gold requirement.
Some bronze guppies have deep-red, brown, golden, or black shades that have a metallic look. You may also find a bronze guppy with red, green, or bi-colored tail colors.
33. Japanese Blue Guppy
This fancy guppy is also known as the Japanese Blue Endler Guppy if its parents are from the Endler breed or Japanese Blue Swordtail Guppy when its tail has a swordtail.
The Japanese Blue Guppy can have a bright blue tail, or the blue color can start midsection and run towards the tail. Many times, the blue color fades towards the head.
34. Blue Guppy
Blue guppies are blue. Some aquarists explain they have an electric blue shade when swimming, while others point to dark blue and sky blue variations. For instance, neon blue guppies have a lighter color than true blue guppies.
35. Neon Blue Guppy
Neon blue guppy comes with light shades of blue. When these guppies swim in the water, the neon blue shades reflect light to create unique neon-like sparkles. The neon blue guppy falls under the blue guppy species, but this changes when they have body or tail patterns.
36. Black Guppy
The solid color of this guppy is black. The body, fins, and tail are dark. However, some black guppies have a lighter shade on their belly, while others have shades of other secondary colors.
The black guppy is a rare species because it is captive-bred. Do not expect to catch one in the wild.
37. White Guppy
White guppies are white with no secondary colors. They may look like an albino guppy, but they are pastel fish with white eyes.
38. Albino Guppy
Albino guppies are rare but stunning guppy fish. An albino guppy lacks melanin pigments which give the fish’s body color. These guppy fish look white, but some have other tints of red or yellow colors.
Albino guppy fish often have red or pink eyes. Their eye color differentiates them from white guppies who have white eyes.
39. Bi-Colored Guppies
Bi-colored guppies have a base color combined with another secondary color variation. The base color covers 50-75%, while the secondary color is at least 25%.
40. Half Black Purple Guppy
The Half Black Purple Guppy features two shades: black and purple. The black color covers half to three-quarters of the body, while the shining purple covers the dorsal and caudal fins. The purple guppy has no other color shades except black and purple.
41. Half Black Blue Guppy
The Half Black Blue Guppy also has two colors, black and blue. One-half of the fish is black, while the other half is blue. But the blue color has to be true blue (sky blue or dark blue) with no shades of green for the guppy to be a Half Black Blue Guppy.
42. Half Black Green Guppy
The Half Black Green Guppy has at least 25% true green color and black. However, this guppy fish is as rare as a green guppy. If you encounter one, it is likely the front part of the body will be green while the rear half will be black.
43. Half Black Yellow Guppy
The yellow guppy is a rare species, but the Half Black Yellow Guppy is rarer. This is because even after professional breeders have successfully created a Half Black Yellow Guppy, the color is usually lighter than the previous generation.
These guppies have half-color black and bright yellow. The face, fins, and tails are often yellow.
44. Half-Black Red Guppy
The Half Black Red Guppy has at least 25% red color on their body. The head and fins are red while the body is black.
45. Half-Black Pastel Guppy
A Half Black Pastel Guppy has a dark body with pastel colors. Most of these Half Black Pastel Guppies have white pastel colors, while others have red, pink, blue, green, and an occasional purple. Unfortunately, there is no yellow pastel color.
46. Red Bi-Color Guppy
For a guppy to identify as a Red Bi-Color guppy, red should be its dominant color. Additionally, it should display at least 25% of its secondary color on its tail. Moreover, the dorsal and tail fin should have the same color and pattern.
47. Koi Guppy
Koi guppies look precisely like koi fish in terms of color patterns. Both male and female koi guppies have white bodies with red-orange faces and tails.
48. Metal Guppy
Metal guppies stand out for their camouflaging aspect. They feature an iridophores pigment that enables them to change their color to match the environment. Thanks to their camouflaging ability, metal guppies hide from predators to improve their survival chances.
49. Multi-Colored Guppy
These guppies have three or more colors. Each color proportion is at least 15% of the body. Many aquarium owners prefer unique, multi-colored guppies.
50. Moscow Guppy
The Moscow Guppy is a rare, expensive, and unique breed native to Russia. These guppies are only bred with their kind to avoid making the breed extinct. They come in several solid colors and are generally bigger than other guppies.
51. Panda Guppy
This new guppy breed features black and white colors like a panda. The eyes, fins, and tail are black, while the front half is white. However, some panda guppies have blue and red colors.
52. AOC (Any Other Color)
AOC guppies are those breeds with different colors than the existing ones. For instance, a guppy with random colors like blue and purple or pink and yellow would fit this category.
Other Types of Guppies
Here are additional types of guppies you might come across.
53. Mutt Guppies
Mutt guppies are generally those guppies that are deemed unfit. They are not categorized under a specific strain because they have abnormal traits, colors, or patterns. Mutt guppies are the result of the unsuccessful breeding of multiple strains.
54. Dumbo Ear Guppies
The Dumbo Ear Guppy lacks big ears but features large pectoral fins. These fins look remarkable when the guppy swims and flaps them in all directions. This species comes in all colors and patterns.
55. Real Red Eye Guppies
The Real Red Eye Guppy is a rare, expensive breed. The fish has bright red eye color and should not be confused with albino guppies.
56. Female Guppies
Did you know female guppies are less vibrant compared to males? It turns out that male guppies have more vibrant colors, making it easy to tell the sexes apart. Moreover, female guppies tend to be larger than their male counterparts.
Additionally, they have a gravid spot that darkens and enlarges during pregnancy.
Here is a video showing the different types of guppies:
Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Guppies
- Female guppies store sperm from one mating season. This way, they can get pregnant without mating again.
- Diet brightens a guppy’s colors.
- Female guppies give birth to live fry.
- Guppies are named ‘million fish’ because they breed fast and easily. A female guppy can have up to 50 live babies in a month.
- They are also called ‘rainbow fish’ due to their many colors.
- Male guppy fish have more stunning colors than females.
- Females are generally bigger than males.
- Guppies can live in freshwater and saltwater when acclimated.
- Guppy fish are peaceful and make suitable tank mates.
- Guppies are helping fight malaria by eating mosquitoes.
- The lifespan of a guppy is between two to five years. These fish live longer in warm temperatures.
- The International Fancy Guppy Associations have recognized 12 guppy types of tails.
Fun Fact #1: Guppies are sensitive to sudden temperature fluctuations. Know how to determine this factor by reading our post Guppy Temperature: Important Info To A Sustainable Habitat for more details.
Fun Fact #2: Make your research about guppies more enriching by reading Male Vs Female Guppy: Top 7 Traits That Tell Them Apart for additional knowledge tidbits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are guppies easy to care for?
Guppy care is pretty simple and straightforward. Check out our blog post on how to take care of guppies for a detailed guide.
How many types of guppies are there?
It is impossible to point out the exact number of guppy species. But bottom line, there are over fifty species.
Can I breed different types of guppies?
Sure. Most of the above species are a result of multiple selective breeding. However, avoid inbreeding for better and healthier guppies
Which is the most colorful guppy?
That depends. Some people love the solid-colored guppies more, while others prefer the multi-colored ones. It all comes down to your preference.
There you have it, the different types of guppies based on the species, tail shape, body-color, and tail and body patterns. Guppies have different tail shapes, tail colors, body patterns, and body colors. Despite this, they are all peaceful and easy to maintain. They make excellent tank mates for different fish species.