Cubanichthys pengelleyi, (Fowler 1939)


The description of this non- annual species took place in 1903 by Carl Eigenmann, at that time under the name Fundulus cubensis. It is a larger species with enlarged dorsal and truncate caudal fin.

It can be found together with Rivulus cylindraceus and a variety of Poecilidae. The water in their habitat is mostly hardy, but seldom brackish, and preferable with strong vegetation like plants and algue in open sunny places.


Cubanichthys pengelleyi - male. Image made and donated by Tony Terceira, USA.
Cubanichthys pengelleyi - pair - male left, female to the right. Image made and donated by Tony Terceira, USA.

Breeding is not easy and the water need to be hardy with some salt added and water need regulary changes and good filtration. It is seldom seen in the hobby and only some specialists can keep the species over a longer period. THe aquarium set-up must be not to small even when only one male and a few females are in it. Male are defending their territory and do not allow other male to enter. A lot of (sunny) light will trigger egg spawning but aseverag hiding places and dark edges are welcome for the sake of the shelter if needed. The eggs are spawned in floating mops. mostly in the lower part and in plants and other fine material during their whole adult life. Incubation time is about 12 to 16 days. Juveniles are eating fresh artemia nauplii at first day. The species can survive high temperatures and range varies from 25 up to 33 C. in their habitat. It is good to keep these fishes at tempreture between 25 and 28 Celcius however.

Cubanichthys pengelleyi - male. Middle Quarters spring, St. Elizabeth, western Jamaica. Drawing is made and donated by Ruud H. Wildekamp, The Netherlands from his AKA publication "A World of Killies, Vol. 2." The material is being reprinted with permission of both, Ruud Wildekamp and the American Killifish Association. This diagram may not be copied or used on any other web site.


Max. size 8.0 cm.
Dorsal 10-12,
Anal 10.0 - 11.0,
D/A -4
LL scale count (average) 22.0
Pre- dorsal length to % SL – 51.0 %
Depth to % SL – 28.0 %


Fowler, H. W. 1939b. Notes on fishes from Jamaica with descriptions of three new species. Notulae Naturae (35): 16 pp., figs. [description: p. 4]
Type species: Chriopeoides pengelleyi Fowler, 1939, by original designation.
Chriopeoides Fowler, 1939b: Parenti, 1981 [as a synonym of Cubanichthys].

Hubbs, C. L. 1926. Studies of the fishes of the Order Cyprinodontes. VI. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (16): 86 pp., 4 plates. [description: p. 4]