african butterfly fish

The freshwater butterflyfish is a specialized surface hunter. It is able to breathe air due to its well-vascularized swim bladder. Its eyes are constantly trained to the surface and its upturned mouth is specifically adapted to capture small prey along the water's surface. If enough speed is built up in the water, a butterflyfish can jump and glide a small distance above the surface to avoid predation. It also wiggles its pectoral fins as it glides, with the help of specialized, enlarged pectoral muscles, the ability which earned the fish its common name. The fish feeds primarily on small insects and smaller fishes.

The freshwater butterflyfish or African butterflyfish, Pantodon buchholzi, is the only species in the family Pantodontidae within the Order Osteoglossiformes. It is not closely related to saltwater butterflyfishes.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "African Butterfly Fish".