One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small live-bearing freshwater fish of Central America, which is popular in aquaria.
Genus Xiphophorus, family Poeciliidae: several species, in particular X. maculatus, which has been bred in a wide variety of colours
- ‘He's lived happily for the past four months with a platy and two neon tetras in a five gallon aquarium.’
- ‘Prompted by my concern for Linda's ‘tough-love’ hardened goldfish and platies, I was given Nigel as an outlet for my protective zeal.’
- ‘In the swordless platies, females also prefer males with artificially attached swords over conspecific males.’
- ‘Coexistence of the two types of sex-determining mechanisms in the same species is unusual and has been reported only in the platy fish, housefly, and midge.’
- ‘Examples include the jewelfish and spotted tilapia; and livebearers, such as swordtails, platies and mollies, and armored catfishes.’
Early 20th century: colloquial abbreviation of modern Latin Platypoecilus (former genus name), from Greek platus ‘broad’ + poikilos ‘variegated’.
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