If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for freshwater fish that doubles as a conversation piece, you can’t go wrong with the Mickey Mouse Platy Fish (also known as the Golden Moon Platy and Moonfish). The Mickey Mouse Platy boasts a “hidden Mickey” located near its tail, is tolerant of a wide range of water conditions, and is relatively easy to breed. Rather than laying eggs, this species bears live young; the appearance of the tiny fish “fry” can be fascinating for both adults and children.
Origin and Distribution
Native to North and Central America from Ciudad Veracruz, Mexico, to northern Belize in Central America. Nonnative populations now reside in a number of locations within the United States, including California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Texas. Different Platy species live in different river systems; none are considered to be endangered.
Colors and Markings
Wondering where this adorable fish got its nickname? Look closely at the tail area, and you’ll discover a “hidden Mickey.” Near the base of the tail is a large round spot upon which are perched two smaller round “ears” that give it the spitting image of the popular Disney character, Mickey Mouse.
The fish itself may be pale yellow to gold, red to orange, or even bluish in color. The fins may range from pale yellow to red- or black-tinged. There are also long-finned and high-finned versions. Despite the color and fin variations, all are the same species of fish. All Platies have teeth in their upper and lower jaws.