Original description as Platypoecilus variatus:
- Meek, Seth Eugene. 1904. "The fresh-water fishes of Mexico north of the isthmus of Tehuantepec". Field Columbian Museum Publication. pp. 1-252 (ffm00159)
Conservation: Xiphophorus variatus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018).