We studied the histopathologic characteristics of melanomas induced in the Xiphophorus model. This fish model has been used for several decades to study the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying its susceptibility to melanoma induction. Numerous distinct interspecific hybrid crosses currently are being used in research on carcinogenesis. We previously reported that tumors were induced in such hybrid crosses after treatment with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea or UV radiation. In this report, we describe the histopathologic features of Xiphophorus melanomas and propose a new classification system. We suggest that melanomas in these fishes can be classified as follows: melanocytic melanomas; melanophorous-macromelanophorous polymorphic melanomas; spindle cell type melanomas; epithelioid cell melanomas; and amelanotic melanomas. The new classification of Xiphophorus melanomas should allow correlations between histopathologic characteristics and carcinogen treatment, and between histopathologic characteristics and the genetic background of the hybrid fish.