All female mollies have a Gravid spot which is located near the anal fin at the lower part of the Molly Fish abdomen. So, what is this Gravid spot on Molly? Why is this Gravid spot getting darker? Is the Gravid spot in Molly fish permanent? Don’t worry about this topic I will try to cover all your worries about Gravid spot and your pregnant Molly fish.
What is a Gravid Spot?
The gravid spot is present in female Molly fish. It is one of the signs that shows that the fish is female. It is present in all female Molly fish. You can easily find it near the anal fin of female Molly fish if the Molly is of light color but in dark color mollies or Dalmation mollies, it is difficult to find.
Where is this Gravid Spot?
The Gravid spot is near the anal fin at the lower part of the Molly fish’s abdomen. In pregnant mollies as the pregnancy progress, the Gravid spot becomes darker and larger and the belly of the Molly fish becomes rounder until the Molly fish give birth to babies. Sometimes you can see movement in and around the Gravid spots in Molly fish these are baby fry eyes.
How does a Molly Fish get Pregnant?
inside the Molly fish belly and Molly fish give birth to living fry. The process of getting pregnant in Molly fish is:
- The male Molly fish pushes its gonopodium into the female Molly fish’s body.
- Male Molly fish transfer their sperm called milt into female Molly fish body
- Unfertilized eggs inside the female Molly fish body are fertilized by this sperm.
- The total time of pregnancy in Molly fish is 50 to 70 days.
- Female Molly fish give birth to living fry.
- Pregnant Molly fish gives birth to 20 to 100 fry. This also depends on how good or homely and clean nutritious environment you are giving to Molly fish.
The Gravid spot is linked with the Molly fish gender. All female Molly fish have Gravid spots but they are not pregnant. The link between a Gravid spot with pregnancy is only that in pregnancy as time passes the Gravid spot becomes larger and darker.
How to tell Whether Molly Fish is Pregnant or Not?
Pregnancy is quite visible in most mollies, but in the early stages, it is not noticeable. If you want to breed mollies then it is important to understand their gestation and pregnancy signs. So, that you will become successful in breeding mollies.
Female mollies become sexually mature at 4 to 6 months of age but in male mollies, it is 6 to 8 months. But this is not fixed because it also depends on their diet, health, environment, stress, etc.
Following are the signs that you can find on your Molly fish if it is pregnant.
The first or the most common sign is that the size of Molly fish’s belly becomes big in the start it becomes rounder but when Molly fish is near to giving birth its belly size is big and square-shaped and quite noticeable.
Black Lines on Belly
Black lines appear on Molly fish. In light color mollies, these lines are easily visible but in Dalmatian mollies, it is difficult to notice.
If you observe your Molly fish keenly you will notice that in the start or early stages of pregnancy, Molly fish appetite increases. As it needs a lot of energy to grow babies.
Related Post: Pregnant Molly Fish: Behavior, Duration, Care & More
How to know that my Molly Fish is Ready to Give Birth?
When you know that your Molly fish is pregnant then you have to take a lot of care to give it a proper environment so that it will give up on time otherwise Mollies sometimes give birth to premature babies. So, it is very important to know about the signs when your Molly fish is ready to give birth.
Darker Gravid Spot
The gravid spot is present in female Molly fish near their anal fin. This Gravid spot is light in color and its size is small. When the Molly fish is close to giving birth the Gravid spot is darker and because of the stretch in the skin, it becomes larger. In some species of Molly fish, you can even see fry eyes.
At the start of pregnancy, Molly’s fish appetite increases because she needs extra energy to grow the fry. However, when the Molly fish is ready to give birth its appetite decreases. Either it eats less or stops eating. Do not worry because it means the birth is near.
Molly fish is a friendly fish but when the birth time is near it becomes isolated. It spends most of its time hiding under the plant leaves or in the dark spots of aquariums or fish tanks. For Molly fish hiding spots are necessary. Without these hiding spots or safe spots, Molly fish will take stress which is not good for Molly fish and their fry.
The most visible sign of Molly fish near the birth time is a large or pronounced square-shaped belly. The closer the Molly fish to birth the more squared Belly you can see.
Shaking of Tail
A very weird sign that Molly fish shows when it is near to giving birth is that when it swims it will shake its tail. A pregnant Molly fish shaking its tail or shivering is a sign that it is stressed and about to give birth. The stress is either because of delivery or it is because of some problem in Molly’s fish environment.
What will happen to the Gravid Spot after Pregnancy?
When the male Molly fish fertilizes the female molly the eggs will develop into fry. The presence of fry blocks the light which causes the Gravid spot to become darker. Pregnancy makes the Gravid spot larger and darker. The gravid spot is quite prominent at the end of pregnancy. Gravid spot does not disappear after the Molly fish gives birth to a living fry. The gravid spot will become dull and its size will also shrink after pregnancy but if you will look you will find it near the anal fin in the lower part of Molly fish’s body.
Difficulty in Finding Gravid spot on your Molly Fish
Sometimes new Aquarists feel difficulty in finding Gravid spots on Molly fish. These are the things you should consider:
It’s a Male Molly fish
New Aquarist confuses between male and female mollies. You cannot find the Gravid spot on male mollies. Sometimes with some internal organ disorder, male Molly fish bloat or male Molly fish belly swells. So, the new Aquarist confuses their condition for pregnancy.
Male mollies are larger with bright colors. Their bodies are flat with a noticeable dorsal fin. Female mollies have full color, round bodies, and a small dorsal fin. Mostly male mollies chase female mollies. If you are still have confusion about identifying male and female mollies you can visit a vet. The vet will tell you either your fish is female and is pregnant or your fish is male and sick.
The early stage of pregnancy
The gravid spot is of light color before the female Molly conceive. It is also light in color at the start of or early stage of pregnancy. Molly fish gestation period lasts up to 70 days. When the male Molly fertilizes the female Molly the eggs inside the female body turn into fry. These fry block the light resulting in a darker Gravid spot. With the passage of time when the fry increases in size female molly fish belly swell. The swelling stretches the skin and the size of the Gravid spot increases. Sometimes environmental factors like PH, temperature, and stress also affect the color of the Gravid spot.
The Bottom Line on Gravid Spot On Molly
The Gravid spot is present in female Molly fish. You can find it near the anal fin at the lower part of Molly fish’s abdomen. It is present in every female Molly fish. The gravid spot link with Molly fish pregnancy is that with the passage of time when Molly fish belly becomes big the size of the Gravid spot increases and its color also gets darker. If your Molly fish belly is bloated but you can not find a Gravid spot then it is a male Molly that is sick or either a dark color or Dalmation Molly on which finding a Gravid spot is difficult.