Where can I learn about them? I'm in Florida and am thinking of creating a little pond outside. I need creatures that are small (couple inches max) and can possibly live through the entire year. Also, native plants?
Before getting too high on outside ponds, there might be some small kinks. A couple items are almost always around, even in cities where we don't see them. Raccoons and birds really get bold when a free meal is involved!
It can be done and I would not want to stop you but just a heads up so you can plan ways to avoid losing too many.
I am pretty sure that Heterandria Formosa are native for you as well as Pygmy sunfish (can't recall the scientific name). Although they may not be compatible, the heterandria may quickly become snacks.
Plants.usda.gov will allow you to do a search by state to find local plant and invasive species distribution. The maps might be too general to find specific plants, but the listing and plant discriptions will get you on the right track.
Our state is pretty good with wildlife websites. I work at an aquarium that focuses on native species. We mostly do salt, but have kept bluegill, a couple species of sunfish, and a gar in our displays.
Florida Flagfish and Mosquito Fish are also found here. I personally have a couple of flags and our ponds at work are stocked with Mosquito fish as our generic minnow filler species.
Flagfish, sailfin mollies, gambusia, leptolucania ommata, several sunfish species...Florida has A LOT of natives that would be interesting. By the way, pygmy sunfish (with the exception of Elassoma zonatum) almost never exceed an inch in length, so they will not be predating adult H. formosa (they may occasionally snag a fry, though).