Endler vs Guppy: The Key Differences

Written by Hannah Ward
Updated: January 24, 2023
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Endlers and guppies are both small freshwater fish that are known for their bright and stunning colors. They are extremely adaptable and thrive in many different conditions – something that makes them among the most popular aquarium species in the world. Although the appearance of the males and females differ, Endlers and guppies actually look incredibly similar. Despite this, there are a few key differences between them that make identifying them easier. So join us as we learn everything there is to know about Endler vs guppy!

Comparing Guppy vs Endler

Endlers and guppies differ in size, body shape, color, reproduction, origin, and gravid spot.
Alternative NamesEndler’s livebearer
Species – Poecilia wingei
Rainbow fish, millionfish
Species – Poecilia reticulata
OriginParia Peninsula, VenezuelaNative to Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.  Introduced to countries on every continent except Antarctica
HabitatShallow lagoons and streamsSlow-moving rivers and streams with plenty of vegetation
SizeMale – up to 1 inch
Female – up to 1.8 inches
Male – 0.6 to 1.4 inches
Female – 1.2 to 2.4 inches
ColorFemales – Golden grey body, translucent caudal peduncle, little to no color on tail
Males – Set patterns in orange, black, blue, and green
Females – Grey
Males – Spots, stripes & blotches in almost any color
Body ShapeSlimStocky
TailMale – Has a long spike on the end
Female – Small and transparent
Male – Rounded and various lengths
Female – Shorter than the males with only a slight amount of color
Gravid Spot (females)Small and doesn’t extend far up the flankLarge and extends up the flanks
Gonopodium (males)One hookSeveral hooks
ReproductionUp to 15 youngUp to 30 young

The Key Differences Between Endlers and Guppies

The key differences between Endlers and guppies include size, body shape, color, reproduction, origin, and gravid spot.

These differences are explained in detail below.

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Endler vs Guppy: Size

Blue Fish - Blue Guppy

Guppies are larger than Endlers, and females can reach almost two and a half inches long!

©Nantawat Chotsuwan/Shutterstock.com

One of the main differences between Endlers and guppies is the difference between their sizes. Both fish exhibit sexual dimorphism with the females being larger than the males, but in both cases, guppies are larger than Endlers. Male Endlers reach lengths of up to 1 inch long while females reach 1.8 inches. Male guppies are 0.6 to 1.4 inches long, while females are much larger between 1.2 and 2.4 inches.

Endler vs Guppy: Color

Male black-bar Endler

Male Endlers have intense, vibrant colors.


The appearance of guppies and Endlers varies widely and the males are a bright and vibrant range of colors. Both female guppies and Endlers tend to look fairly similar. Female guppies are a fairly drab grey color, and female Endlers are a golden grey color with a translucent caudal peduncle and very little color on their tail.

However, the main differences are between the males. Male guppies can be virtually any color which can be in an arrangement of spots, stripes, or blotches. Male Endlers have intense, vibrant colors – usually orange, black, blue, and green distinctive color blocks.

Endler vs Guppy: Body Shape

The body shape of Endlers and guppies is also noticeably different. As well as being larger than Endlers, guppies have stocky bodies compared to Endlers’ slim and streamlined bodies. This body shape is most noticeable in the area where the body meets the tail.

Endler vs Guppy: Tail

endler guppy in my aquarium

The tail of a male Endler often appears to look as though it is actually two smaller fins.

©iStock.com/andriy romagnoli revenko

Another incredibly noticeable difference between these two stunning species of fish is their tails, and again these even differ between the males and the females. For a start, male guppies have a tail that is distinctly rounded in appearance, even though the length itself can vary widely. Female guppies also have a rounded tail, but it is usually shorter than the males’ and has very little color on it.

Female Endlers have small and transparent tails whereas the males are much more exotic looking. The tail of a male Endler often appears to look as though it is actually two smaller fins, with the lower part being much longer and looking like a spike.

Endler vs Guppy: Gravid Spot

The gravid spot is an unusual feature that is only found on female fish which bear live young. It is a dark spot on the skin of the female fish over her womb. In the case of guppies and Endlers, the gravid spot is much bigger on guppies. On guppies, the gravid spot is quite large and extends up towards the flanks. However, on Endlers, it is much smaller and doesn’t extend as far up to the flanks.

Endler vs Guppy: Gonopodium

Two male guppies with a female guppy

Female guppies can give birth to up to 30 live young in one breeding cycle.

©Grigorev Mikhail/Shutterstock.com

Another unique difference between Endlers and guppies is the appearance of the gonopodium on the males. The gonopodium is a modified anal fin that is used as a copulatory organ to inseminate the females. The gonopodium on an Endler has a single hook with a pointed end. However, a guppy’s gonopodium has several hooks on it and a rounded end.

Endler vs Guppy: Reproduction

Both Endlers and guppies are collectively known as live-bearing fish in that they give birth to live young – hence the alternative name of Endlers – Endler’s livebearer. However, there is actually some debate as to just which type of live-bearing fish they are – ovoviviparous or viviparous. Despite this, these fish have completely different brood sizes. Endlers give birth to up to 15 live young, but guppies give birth to up to 30! Incredibly, they are only 0.2 inches long when they are born! Despite this, they are fully formed and are able to swim of their own accord straight away. Both Endlers and guppies can reproduce approximately once a month.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Nantawat Chotsuwan/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Hannah is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on reptiles, marine life, mammals, and geography. Hannah has been writing and researching animals for four years alongside running her family farm. A resident of the UK, Hannah loves riding horses and creating short stories.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are endlers and guppies from the same family group?

Yes, endlers and guppies are both from the Poecillidae family group which consists of many other small freshwater fish suitable for aquariums. Other members include platys, mollys, and swordtails.

Can endlers and guppies reproduce with each other?

Yes, endlers and guppies often breed with guppies to create hybrid offspring known as Endler’s guppies.

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