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African Butterflyfish

Pantodon buchholzi

Despite their name, African butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) are no close relative of the similarly named disk-shaped marine species, but instead are most closely related to Asian arowana and are our Fish of the Week this week. Compared to recent holders of the title, these fish may look a little dull with their brown bodies but have speckles across their entirety. These speckles continue onto their pectoral fins, which, when extended, appear more like wings than fins, and these help in their hunting strategies. In the wild, these carnivorous fish will lie in wait just beneath the surface waiting for a tasty-looking cricket or other insect, then suddenly leap out the water, snatch the prey and consume it. Its large wing-like fins allow these freshwater butterflyfish to even glide for a short time, so no prey is safe! For this reason, it’s best to keep these in a large aquarium with a tight-fitting lid with lots of plants for them to hide amongst. Growing to around 13cm (5.1 inches), you should also avoid placing them into an aquarium with smaller fish as these may ‘mysteriously’ vanish! However, despite this, and with proper attention, this Fish of the Week will make a fascinating feature in a freshwater tank.

(Image courtesy of: https://www.beke.co.nz)

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Tagged in: Fish of the Week Archive - Freshwater