Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium
The golden skiffa or
The golden skiffa or golden sawfin, (skiffa
Is a member of the goodeid family from Mexico.
The golden skiffa is extinct in the wild, but thanks to the conservation
efforts of the Belle Isle Aquarium, it lives on in the tanks of
aquariums all over the World. Originally found in only a few small
rivers in Mexico, the skiffa was exterminated by Man. Careless people
released red platies, a common aquarium fish into their habitat. the
platies reproduce much faster, produce more young and eat more food than
the little skiffa.
Because of these factors, the skiffa was unable to compete for
resources, and it was eventually driven to extinction in its
In the late 1970's, a trip was made in an effort to capture additional
specimens for study. The fish were brought back to the United States and
donated to the Belle Isle Aquarium, among others. Eventually, all of the
populations except the ones kept here died out.
From the few remaining individuals, Belle Isle was able to successfully
rear hundreds of offspring over the past twenty years.
All of the golden skiffa found in other aquariums originated from the
work done on Belle Isle. For our efforts, the Belle Isle Aquarium was
given the prestigious Bean Award in 2000 for long term captive
Golden skiffa give birth to live young. The females
are silvery with a few black spots, and the males are golden in color
with blue patches and unusually shaped dorsal and anal fins.