On paper, these fish really shouldn’t make it onto the Fish of the Week list – they’re hugely secretive, preferring to spend most of their time hidden away, and they’re not particularly colourful or striking! What they lack in charisma and colour, however, is entirely redeemed by their intrigue and curiosity value. Like other members in this group of fish, they are unique among other catfish in their reproductive biology for having internal fertilisation. In a similar way to guppies, males have modified fins to achieve this, and such a structure can be used to differentiate the sexes. Tatia galaxias is a black, somewhat elongated fish, reaching around 10 cm (4 inches) with flanks spattered with white spots, like stars on a night sky, hence their name. While secretive, providing them with hiding spaces makes them feel more secure in their environment, making them more likely to venture out to forage for food. These fish seem to have a good sense of smell and a secure fish is very likely to come out during feeding time. Seeing these enigmatic fish, if only for fleeting moments during feeding, makes these fish more mysterious and a true treasure for catfish enthusiasts.
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Tagged in: Fish of the Week Archive - Freshwater