Butterfly fish fry are very small when they first hatch, and just as vulnerable as they look. They are far too delicate to fly for their first few weeks, so they remain with their clutch mates until their colors and wings start to grow in. They are voracious eaters, each variety of butterfly fish picking its own species of aquatic plant to torment. For this reason, butterfly fish are considered pests to fishermen whose catches compete with the fry for food, though the creatures are tolerated as adults as they help pollinate many plants once they start to fly.
Flying butterfly fish are always welcome visitors to the garden, as their beautiful patterns combine the best qualities of both of their namesakes. They appear to swim through the sky with the help of fin-like wings, lightened by specialized swim bladders. Those who study them can contest that the creatures are as lightweight as they look, which is what gives them an elegance and grace matched by few other creatures. The way the light catches their scales, wings, and flowing tendrils makes them a dazzling sight to behold. While difficult to keep as pets, a few butterfly fish enthusiast organizations have sprung up over the years and produced spectacular new varieties through selective breeding programs. They often meet for shows where the brightest and most colorful fish are judged against each other.
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: PKGriffin