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Butterfly Fish

Butterfly fish

Butterfly fish (Pantodon buchholzi), are one of the most colorful fish, which belong to the Pantodontidae family of small colorful ocean fish. These fishes have very beautiful and amazing color patterns, which attracts the human eye. They are often seen on the reefs all over the world. It is amazing to note that there are around 114 species of butterfly fish.

Butterfly Fish Facts
Some of the interesting facts about the life and behavior of these species, which would be interesting to know, are as follows:

Description and Behavior
These fish have thin and disk-shaped body, which very closely resembles to their cousin "Angelfish". These are small fish, which grow up to a maximum size of 13 centimeters in length. They have large pectoral fin and a large swim bladder that helps them to breathe even at the surface of the water. Their pectoral fins help them to swim in water and they use their tail as a rudder, which helps them to change the direction while swimming. Some of these species are dull colored but some of them have very beautiful and striking backgrounds of orange, yellow, red or blue. Moreover, some of them have dark bands across their eyes and eye-like dots on their flanks that create confusion among the predators about the direction they are going to swim. The butterfly fish are found to be living both in groups and as an individual. They are found swimming in groups and sometimes they swim alone until they get a partner. It would be sad to know that these butterfly fish are included in the red list of endangered species. The main reason behind their population is due to their habitat loss and water pollution. The coral reefs are destructed by the boats and this destruction makes them very difficult to survive. Apart from these reasons, there is one more reason that decreases their population up to a large extent is their exposure to the predators. They have large number of predators such as sharks, eels and snapper.

Butterfly fishes

Diet
These species are carnivorous and feed on smaller marine fishes, coral polyps, algae, small shrimp or zooplankton. These fishes fed during the day and rest at coral reefs during the nights. These are very good surface hunters and their mouth is so designed with upturned shape that they can easily catch the prey from the water surface. These fishes can even glide and jump in water.

Reproduction / Breeding
The fertilization in these species is found to be internal. These fish have a very different characteristic that they make mating pair, which remains with them for whole life. After being laid, the eggs take around seven days to hatch. They are known to produce mass of eggs, which floats on the surface of the water with plankton. As a result, these eggs are eaten by many predators. When the egg hatches, the hatchlings develop armored plates on their body, which provides them protection. These plates disappear as they grow older. These species have a life span of about (8 to 10) years.