An Unusual Little Fish

This is the black angelfish. It cultivates a small garden of red and green seaweed in its backyard. The black angelfish is ecologically correct. It picks but never over crops its plot of sea plants. It is one of only six herbivorous fishes in New Zealand. A continuous fringe of small sharp teeth and a pair of strong jaws means it can keep chomping all day long.

It is unusual for a tropical fish to be herbivorous, it is also unusual in that all adults are more or less the same size. About 18 months after hatching it will grow rapidly to adult size, and then stop. Most fish, of course, continue to grow throughout their lives.

Unusual too, in how it breeds. Males select a suitable nest site, which it prepares for the female to lay eggs, by biting off all the encrusting gunk, leaving only a nice comfortable bed of green algae. The male will guard the nest against all comers. He may end up with eggs from several females to over see to maturity. The juveniles are coloured very differently to adults.

The still images you see on this blog posting are taken from NHNZ Images video which is available for you to use in your productions.

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