Juvenile butterfly fish grow very fat just before their wings grow, resembling grubs more than fish. Their juvenile colors are at their brightest at this point, though they bear little resemblance to their adult form. When they're ready to leave the water, the juveniles curl up on a leaf and excrete a tough cocoon around themselves. The next day, they emerge as fully-formed adults and swim to the surface, leaping out of the water and extending their new wings into the sky. It may take a few jumps before they figure out how to catch the breeze, but once they figure out how to fly, they will never return to the water except to lay their eggs.
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