How Do I Know If My Mickey Mouse Fish Is Pregnant?

By Lynn Anders

Scientifically known as Xiphophorus maculates, these orange and black platys also go by Mickey Mouse platy, southern platy and moonfish. Males of this species are significantly smaller than the females; males reaching up to 1 ½ inches and females 2 ½ inches. They begin to breed at a young age of only a few months old, and then never seem to stop. The female can produce a new batch of babies about every month. Like other platys, Mickey Mouse fish breed easily. The female only needs to mate with a male once to give birth for several months in a row.

Calculate the age of your fish if possible. If you know your Mickey Mouse fish are over the age of 5 months then you know they are old enough to breed.

Determine if you have a male and female Mickey Mouse fish. If your fish are adults, based on age, and there is a significant size different then you likely have a male and female. If you have a male and female adult Mickey Mouse fish, the female is likely pregnant, or will be soon.

Watch the female for a growing belly. She will produce about 50 babies with each birth--she will be noticeably pregnant within a week or two of fertilization.

Look carefully at the female’s belly if she is growing rounder. At first, you may see what look like dots inside her belly--these are the eggs. Toward birth, you may see the fry moving around inside the mom.