Of all the things an animal could eat, corals are arguably one of the toughest, thanks to their thin, mucus-covered flesh packed with venomous stinging cells spread over a razor-sharp skeleton. Perhaps that explains why of the more than 6,000 fish species that live on the reef, only 128 are known to feed on corals. Now, researchers have discovered that at least one species of coral-feeding fish ‘kisses’ the flesh and mucus off the coral skeleton using protective, self-lubricating lips.
"The lips are like the gills of a mushroom but covered in slime," says David Bellwood of James Cook University in Australia. "It is like having a running nose but having running lips instead."
The researchers suggest that the mucus may facilitate suction while offering protection from the corals' stinging nematocysts.
Wrasses that don't eat corals have lips that are thin and smooth, with teeth that protrude slightly. By comparison, Tubelip wrasses, Labropsis australis, have lips that are fleshy and stick out, forming a tube when the mouth is closed that covers all the teeth.
The most prominent characteristic of the Tubelip wrasse's lips, they found, are numerous thin membranes arranged outward from the center like the gills of a mushroom. The mouth surface also includes many folds loaded with highly productive mucus-secreting glands. In other words, their lips drip with slime.
The wrasses feed by briefly placing their lips in contact with the coral prior to delivering a powerful suck, appearing to seal the mouth over a small area. The new evidence suggests that Tubelip wrasses survive by feeding primarily on coral mucus.
In 1988, Irish singer and songwriter Enya released a single called ‘Orinoco Flow’ from her second studio album, which went on to become an international hit and earn a Grammy Award nomination. Now a team of scientists have named a new species of fish from the Orinoco River drainage after her.
Leporinus enyae is a “beautiful little fish,” said Michael Burns, a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University and lead author on the paper describing the new species.
“Whenever we were in the lab at Oregon State working on the fishes, Ben Frable would always play ‘Orinoco Flow,” said Burns, referring to another graduate student in the lab.
“I heard the song so often in the lab it got stuck in my head,” co-author Marcus Chatfield said. “Then I just started listening to it on purpose when I was taking measurements of the specimens. When the time came around for choosing names, it just felt right to name this new beautiful fish from the Orinoco after the artist who wrote that beautiful song.”
Leporinus is the largest and most diverse genus in the characiform family Anostomidae and includes roughly 90 species across most of South America.
The term Leporinus literally means ‘little hare,’ in reference to the large teeth that protrude from the mouth, much like those of a rabbit. The bottom teeth of the new species are particularly long, and while no one is sure why, the researchers note that it may relate to it foraging on plants, worms and other invertebrates.
Aquariums across the United States have joined forces to create a new Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) to address one of the gravest threats facing ocean and freshwater animals – plastic pollution — with the launch of a nationwide consumer campaign and a business commitment to drive a shift away from single-use plastic.
“The public trusts aquariums to do what’s right for the health of the ocean and for ocean wildlife,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “We’re just beginning to understand the full impacts of ocean plastic pollution on ecosystems, marine life and human health. But we already know enough to say that now is the time to act.”
Through the national ‘In Our Hands’ campaign, the ACP hopes to drive a national shift away from single-use plastic and toward innovative alternatives. The campaign includes a website that inspires visitors to make positive everyday behaviour changes and raise awareness of the issue.
All 19 aquariums are also supporting this shift away from single-use plastic within their own businesses by eliminating plastic straws and single-use plastic takeaway bags. They have also committed to significantly reducing or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by December 2020 and to showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic in their facilities.
About 8.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year worldwide – roughly a dump truck full of plastic every minute of every day. In the United States alone, plastic waste averages more than 200 pounds per person each year. If nothing changes, by 2025 the flow of plastic into the ocean is expected to double.
But it’s not just the ocean that’s affected. Today, there are an estimated one billion plastic particles floating on the surface of Lake Michigan alone.
The Aquarium Conservation Partnership was first championed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, National Aquarium in Baltimore and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, in collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Coalition partners include: Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach; California Academy of Sciences/Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco; Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut; Florida Aquarium; Newport Aquarium in Kentucky; Audubon Nature Institute/Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans; New England Aquarium in Boston; Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Nebraska; Wildlife Conservation Society/New York Aquarium in New York City; North Carolina Aquariums; South Carolina Aquarium; Tennessee Aquarium; Texas State Aquarium; Virginia Aquarium; Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma; and Seattle Aquarium.
The Yorkshire Association of Aquarist Societies annual Open Show and Auction at The Village Hall, Stockton on the Forest, took place on Sunday, July 2 2017.
WORDS AND PHOTOS: DR DAVID FORD
This Distichodus teugelsi took the Fish of Fishes award. It is one of nine wild-caught species owned by Bede Kerrigan of STAMPS (the South Tyneside Aquatic & Marine Society) — unfortunately all of them are females.
The YAAS show was once YAF (the Yorkshire Aquarist Festival) and so retains the ‘Fish of Fishes’ award. Dating from 1975, the grand trophy has been awarded ever since.
There were 10 entries in the Fish of Fishes competition — fish that have already won a First in the YAAS clubs shows.
The other YAF annual award is the Best Exhibit. This is for pairs of fish that have achieved 85 points or more in previous shows. This year there was only four entries but the winner was a pair of South American Banjo catfishes, Bunocephalus larai, by Roy Chapman of Castleford Aquarist Society. This pair of fishes are regular winners in the Pairs class and have featured on the PFK website over several years.
In the Open Show there were 230 entries, assessed by four YAAS Judges, with the Best in Show being awarded to Mr and Mrs Nelson of Ashby AS for their Metriaclima lombardoi.
Shirley Nelson also won the Best Exhibit with a pair of Rainbow shiners, Notropis chrosomus.
These awards mean that Mr and Mrs Nelson have passed their 1000th award for YAAS firsts. Presentations will be at the next YAAS Show.
A 50-strong audience attended the auction, which lasted most of the afternoon.
The next Open Show and Auction will be ‘Friends of Yorkshire’, Sunday, August 13, also at Stockton on the Forest (postcode for your sat nav is YO32 9UR).
Collected from the mineral-rich foothills of Mount Aso Volcano in Japan, new Fluval Stratum is an alternative substrate for planted aquariums and those featuring shrimp.
Fluval Stratum encourages strong plant growth — the roots easily penetrate and spread throughout the substrate to obtain key nutrients. The porous structure allows for rapid colonisation by beneficial nitrifying bacteria. This substrate helps support neutral to slightly acidic pH — ideal for most plants, tropical fish and shrimp normally kept in planted aquariums — and also provides newborn shrimp with a refuge from predators until they are large enough to emerge.
It won’t discolour the aquarium water and actually helps control organic discolouration when natural driftwood is present. For use in freshwater aquariums.
Price: 2kg £9.99; 4kg £18.99; 8kg £35.99.
More info: Contact Fluval Aquatics on 01977 556622 or visit www.fluvalaquatics.com
The August issue of Practical Fishkeeping is packed with amazing fish, inspirational ideas and expert advice. Here’s just a taster of what you can find between the pages of this month’s magazine…
Our fish of the Month is the Rainbow shiner — it’s ironic that one of the hottest fish on the scene comes from cold waters... Here’s how to keep this little beauty.
Who says brown is boring? The Chocolate gourami is a real treat that not only looks delicious but also has a soft centre. Find out how to keep these sweet fish.
Smaller set-ups can really look the business. We have are some great ideas for the more easily accommodated 60cm/2ft aquariums.
Charming and colourful, neither of the Ram cichlids grow too big, and they are inexpensive to buy and fun to breed. But one is much easier to keep than the other… Find out which is best for your tank.
We feature a lovely Nature Aquarium style layout, set up to honour aquascaping legend Takashi Amano — and it’s surprisingly low maintenance.
We visit a reader with a superb reef set-up that shows just how effective a room divider tank can be when it’s done well.
There’s advice on prepping for the hols, preventing summer problems in your pond, and how to make the most of the summer by enjoying our native marine life.
Plus some stunning new fish in the shops, new gear reviews, your questions answered by our team of experts, and loads more.
Don’t forget you can buy the latest issue of the magazine online, with free p & p if you live in the UK.
Or why not subscribe to PFK? See our latest subscription offer here.
Yes, that’s right! Subscribe to PFK and you can get your first three issues for just £1 each!
Choose from a print only subscription, or go digital only. Or you can even opt for both and save even more money.
Free UK delivery to your door or free download to your digital device.
Hurry — this offer closes on August 1, 2017.
This goldfish is one of a number of 'zoo exhibits' painted by artists at a village in China.
The rocks were painted with a variety of different animals at Ren'an Village in Lishui, Zhejiang Province of China, earlier this year.
Other animals included pandas, leopards, hedgehogs, reptiles and parrots.
After the successful launch of its award winning Fluval Flex aquarium range, Fluval Aquatics has now added to the series with two new variants in a white finish.
Flex not only provides contemporary styling with its distinctive curved front, but is also equipped with powerful three-stage filtration in its rear compartment. The LED lighting can be controlled with the Flex Pad remote control, allowing for a wide range of colours as well as special effects.
Flex also comes with an easy feed cut out opening and multi-directional dual output nozzles, which can be adjusted to create customised water flow.
White Flex aquariums are available in 34 l and 57 l sizes. The 57 l version also has a matching stand.
Price: 34 l £109.99; 57 l £149.99; Stand (57 l) £92.99.
More info: Contact Fluval Aquatics on 01977 556622 or visit www.fluvalaquatics.com
Squire’s Garden Centre in Washington, West Sussex, is holding its third annual Koi Show on Sunday, July 9, 2017.
There will be 18 vats of Koi, with each vat containing between one and eight Koi depending on their size. Suppliers will also be there to give advice, including Atlantis with their glass-fibre ponds, along with pond pump and filter manufacturer Oase, and NT Labs who supplies fish food and treatment products.
Visitors can take advantage of a great offer, with 25% off all pond fish at Squire’s that whole weekend (including the Friday).
As well as a fantastic display of show quality Koi, there will be reptiles for people to see and handle, including a Boa constrictor, Leopard gecko, Bearded dragon, Pink legged millipedes and an Amazon Milk frog. Chichester College will also be bringing along some animals, plus between 11am-3pm a local vet will be offering free pet advice and there’ll be free childrens' face painting.
So whether you’re a Koi fan or simply looking for a fun day out with the family, this should be a great event. The show is on from 10.30am-4.30pm and entrance is free.
Squire’s Garden Centre is located on London Road, Washington, RH20 3BP.
This was the Best in Show at the 4th Leg of the FGUK (Fancy Guppy League of the UK). It's owned by member Henry Smith, and it's a Viennese double swordtail variety.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: DR DAVID FORD
The FGUK hold their mini-shows around the country using facilities of other Fish Shows. This leg saw 41 entries, and was held alongside the Association of Midland Goldfish Keepers annual Open Show in Coventry.
The next stages of the FGUK will be at:
The Friends of Yorkshire Fish Show, The Village Hall, Stockton on the Forest, Near York YO32 9UJ on Sunday, August 13, 2017
Sheaf Valley Aquarist Society Open Show, The Rockingham Centre, Sheffield Road, Hoyland Common, Barnsley S74 0PY on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
Nationwide Goldfish Open Show, Horsehay Village Hall, Bridge Road, Horsehay, Telford TF4 2NF on Saturday, September 30, 2017.
And the finale will take place at the FGUK Convention, with the International Guppy Show at the Holiday Inn Express, Rockingham Road, Kettering NN14 1UD, on Saturday and Sunday, October 7–8, 2017. This event sees lectures, competitions, and an auction of Guppies and other livebearers.
The 4th National Betta Show was held in the Rockingham Centre, Barnsley, on Sunday, June 25.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: DR DAVID FORD
This year’s show attracted over 40 visitors to this exclusively Betta splendens event. It also included an auction where many Betta were bought for just £3!
There were 158 Betta entered in the show, judged by YAAS judges using their Yorkshire standards but also based on the International Betta Society.
The Best in Show was a Crowntail female Betta — which also won the Best Female Class — by a junior, Harvey Claydon-Baldwin from Fishful Thinking, Charing, Kent.
The Peoples’ Choice (the visitors' most voted choice) was a Super Delta Betta by Straw Cassford.
The judges at the show were Trish Jones, Trevor Douglas, Mick Price and Steve Grant all from the Yorkshire Association of Aquarist Societies (the Betta Show has always been associated with the YAAS).
There were also Certificates and Rosettes for all the Class winners, First, Second and Third. Here are a few of those Firsts... ￼
This gorgeous Pearlscale goldfish was the winner at the AMGK (Association of Midland Goldfish Keepers) in Coventry at its Open Show on Saturday, June 24, 2017.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: DR. DAVID FORD
This club starts the season of shows by the Nationwide Goldfish Societies of the UK.
The Nationwide Clubs also include NGPS (Northern Goldfish & Pondkeepers Society), BAS (Bristol Aquarist Society) and NEGS (North East Goldfish Society). There are hundreds of pedigree varieties of UK-bred goldfish on show and each club holds an auction where the goldfish can be bought at often low prices.
There were the 211 entries in the AMGK Show, judged to the Nationwide Standards in the many classes of the 20 varieties of goldfish. ￼
The auction saw 66 lots of different goldfish varieties being sold to over 40 visitors.
The Show ended with certificates and trophies being awarded to the Best in each Class. That Pearlscale is owned by NGPS member Dean Roberts...
These were some of the other winners at the AMGK Show...
There was a grand raffle and hot and cold food available all day — as at all the Nationwide Shows. If you are a goldfish lover, try to attend at least one of their shows.
Their 2017 calendar looks like this:
Sunday, July 16: NEGS at Redby Community Centre, Fulwell Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR6 9QU.
Sunday, September 3: BAS at The Hengrove Community Centre, Fortfield Road, Bristol BS14 9NX. ￼
Saturday, September 16: NGPS at St. Matthews Church Hall, Chester Road, Stretford, Manchester M32 8HF. ￼
Saturday, September 30: Nationwide (with all the above Societies) at The Horsehay Village Hall, Bridge Road, Horsehay, Telford TF4 2NF.
Over two million years ago, a third of the largest marine animals like sharks, whales, sea birds and sea turtles disappeared. This previously unknown extinction event not only had a considerable impact on the earth’s historical biodiversity but also on the functioning of ecosystems.
The disappearance of a large part of the terrestrial megafauna such as the Sabre-toothed cat and the mammoth during the ice age is well known. Now, researchers at the University of Zurich and the Naturkunde Museum in Berlin have shown that a similar extinction event had taken place earlier, in the oceans.
The international team investigated fossils of marine megafauna from the Pliocene and the Pleistocene epochs (5.3 million to around 9,700 years BC). “We were able to show that around a third of marine megafauna disappeared about three to two million years ago. Therefore, the marine megafaunal communities that humans inherited were already altered and functioning at a diminished diversity”, explains lead author Dr. Catalina Pimiento, who conducted the study at the Paleontological Institute and Museum of the University of Zurich.
Above all, the newly discovered extinction event affected marine mammals, which lost 55% of their diversity. As many as 43% of sea turtle species were lost, along with 35% of sea birds and 9% of sharks. On the other hand, new forms of life were to develop during the subsequent Pleistocene epoch: around a quarter of animal species, including the polar bear, storm petrel or the penguin had not existed during the Pliocene. Overall, however, earlier levels of diversity could not be reached again.
In order to determine the consequences of this extinction, the research team concentrated on shallow coastal shelf zones, investigating the effects that the loss of entire functional entities had on coastal ecosystems. Functional entities are groups of animals not necessarily related, but that share similar characteristics in terms of the function they play on ecosystems. The study found that seven functional entities were lost in coastal waters during the Pliocene.
Even though these losses are relatively modest, they led to an important erosion of functional diversity: 17% of the total diversity of ecological functions in the ecosystem disappeared and 21% changed. Previously common predators vanished, while new competitors emerged and marine animals were forced to adjust. In addition, the researchers found that at the time of the extinction, coastal habitats were significantly reduced due to violent sea level fluctuations.
The researchers propose that the sudden loss of the productive coastal habitats, together with oceanographic factors such as altered sea currents, greatly contributed to these extinctions. “Our models have demonstrated that warm-blooded animals in particular were more likely to become extinct. For example, species of sea cows and baleen whales, as well as the Giant shark, Carcharocles megalodon, disappeared”, explains Dr. Pimiento.
“This study shows that marine megafauna were far more vulnerable to global environmental changes in the recent geological past than had previously been assumed”. Dr. Pimiento also points to a present-day parallel: Nowadays, large marine species such as whales or seals are highly vulnerable to human influences.
The study is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0223-6.
While to most of us, the Great Barrier Reef is priceless, a new report has calculated its value.
Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned to carry out the six-month study by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation charity — and it has valued the reef at A$56bn (around £33bn) based on its total ‘economic, social and icon value’.
The report says that the World Heritage site contributes A$6.4bn to Australia’s economy, is worth A$29bn to tourism and A$3.2bn to divers and other recreational users.
The authors of the study also give the reef a ‘brand value’ of A$24bn — based around Australians who have not visited the reef but value knowing it exists.
The research showed that the Great Barrier Reef supported over 64,000 jobs in the Australian economy in 2015–16, including 33,000 in Queensland. While most of these were in the tourism sector, there were also important economic contributions from fishing, recreational and scientific activities.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Director Steve Sargent said: “Like the Great Barrier Reef itself, the numbers revealed in the report are big and highlight just how significant the Reef’s contribution to Australia’s economy is.
“As the largest living structure on Earth and one of the world’s most complex and diverse natural ecosystems, the Great Barrier Reef is justifiably considered priceless and irreplaceable.
“Alongside its important environmental and ecological function, this report demonstrates that the Reef also offers substantial value to Australia and the world in terms of the economic activity it generates and the employment and experiences it supports across the tourism, fishing, recreation and scientific industries.
“At $56 billion, the reef is valued at more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses!
“This report sends a clear message that the Great Barrier Reef — as an ecosystem, as an economic driver, as a global treasure — is too big to fail.”
For a quarter of a century, scuba diver Hiroyuki Arakawa has been visiting an Asian sheepshead wrasse, Semicossyphus reticulatus, — who he calls Yoriko — in the waters of Hasama Underwater Park in Tateyama, Japan. The friendship developed when he nursed her back to health after finding her injured many years ago, something she seems never to have forgotten. One of the largest wrasses, the Asian sheepshead wrasse can reach a metre in length.
Watch Hiroyuki Arakawa and Yoriko's story in the video below...
As we enter into the season of long balmy evenings and weekends spent out in the garden, now is the time to ensure your pond is looking its best, says All Pond Solutions.
But with temperatures slowly on the rise and increasing levels of sunlight, there are other factors that pondkeepers need to consider to help keep your pond clean, clear and flourishing throughout the summer months...
Regular maintenance of your pond pump and filter
With your garden pond pump and pond filter as your main tools in keeping your pond water clean and healthy, regular maintenance of this equipment over the summer months is essential. Remove any dirt or debris from your pond pump that may have collected around the cage and impeller, and clean your pond filter frequently, checking that your filter foams and media do not require replacing or refilling.
Keep an eye on your water levels
Water evaporation is one of the main causes of a drop in oxygen levels in your pond during the hot summer months. Try to keep your water level consistent by topping it up once a week, ideally with siphoned rainwater. If you do need to use tap water, be sure to add a dechlorinator and water conditioner to ensure the water is safe for your fish and to help conserve your pond’s biological balance. If using mains water, it can also help to regulate pond water temperature by more adding it more regularly in lesser amounts, and be aware that the nutrients in mains water can cause increased algae growth. When using mains water, you will also need to add
Make sure your pond is well aerated
In addition to monitoring your water levels, managing the oxygen levels in your pond is fundamental to the health, happiness and welfare of your fish. It is advisable to keep your pond filter and pump running continuously to keep your pond aerated, however noise-conscious pondkeepers can use an air pump or air stone overnight, which will also help to oxygenate your pond whilst creating much less sound.
Adding new livestock and plants
Summer is the ideal time to update your pond with new fish and aquatic plants - with increased hours of sunlight and water temperature, in addition to you spending more time in the garden to check on their progress. However, patience is key – to try and reduce the risk of an ammonia spike in your pond, by introducing any new fish gradually.
To help your fish acclimatise properly, add new fish to your pond still in their bag for 30 minutes. Floating the bag on the surface of the water lets the water temperatures equalise and reduce levels of stress when adding them to your pond. Finally, place your fish into your pond gently with the use of a net, being careful not to drop any water from the bag into the pond.
Battling algae growth in your pond
Increased levels of sunlight and using tap water to top-up your pond are two of the leading causes for increased phosphates in your pond, creating a feeding ground for algae. Using an algaecide or algae remover can help resolve green water issues, but a better long-term, preventative measure against algae is to install a pond UV steriliser. Exposure to the UV light inside the steriliser causes algae to flocculate, or clump together, which enables your pond filter to remove it from the water.
Adding border and floating plants to your pond can also help to reduce algae growth by creating extra shade for your pond water.
Controlling weeds in your pond
Whilst helping your garden pots and plants thrive in the summer, increased sunlight also causes widespread growth of weeds in and around your pond. Blanket weed is a common frustration for pond keepers during spells of warmer weather, and the application of bacterial pond treatments provide an effective solution and restore the natural balance of your pond.
Floating weeds can also rapidly take over a pond if not carefully controlled, so making time to regularly remove these from your water with a net will help prevent weeds from becoming unmanageable. However, ensure that you leave the weeds overnight by the side of your pond before disposing of them to allow any aquatic organisms to return to the water.
Pond safety is crucial
Last, but certainly not least, the most critical consideration when enjoying your pond this summer is to safeguard yourself and others. Installing a pond grille or fence is a good precautionary measure, but it is VITAL that young children are supervised around water at all times.
Pond keepers should also make sure that any pond or fish treatments are securely stored away out of reach, as the chemicals they contain could prove extremely harmful to both humans and animals.
Be sure to clear your pond of any potential trip hazards and ensure that all electrical pond equipment is correctly wired to a waterproof switch box. If you are unsure of how to do this, consult a qualified electrician.
All Pond Solutions is one of the UK’s leading online aquatics retailers, offering customers one of the largest selections of pond supplies, aquarium equipment and livestock at highly competitive prices.
For more information, or to shop for pond products online, visit www.allpondsolutions.co.uk
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: DR. DAVID FORD
Ryedale Aquarists Society's 17th Open Show and Auction was held at Kirby Misperton Village Hall in North Yorkshire on Sunday, June 18. Despite it being Father’s Day (and the hottest day of the year so far) the show had record numbers of entries, auction items and visitors. There were also younger aquarists taking part.
The Best in Show was a Scarlet plec (L025) from Brazil, owned and developed for the last three years by Marc Taylor-Olsson. He is the grandson of a founder member of the Ryedale AS and this was his first entry to a fish show.
Another young aquarist was Ollie Blackburn of Sheaf Valley AS who won a First with his killifish Nothobranchius rubbripinis.
There were 254 entries, all judged by the YAAS judges, Trish Jones, Trevor Douglas and Kevin Webb. Steve Jones also ran the auction to an audience of 70 visitors. There were over 26 lots, which took most of the afternoon.
As always, there were hot and cold beverages all day, a grand raffle and aquatic goods on sale by Fishphilosophy.
Here are some of the other winners at the Show:
With entries from STAMPS, Southend, Bradford, Ashby, Otley, and more, the Open Show was a success and Ryedale are looking forward to the next one. This will be their ‘Fun Day’ with lectures and competitions as well as a Mini-Open Show at the same venue: Kirby Misperton Village Hall, YO17 6XN — on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
Well worth a visit.
A popular Tanganyikan cichlid has been found to have the ability to recognise individual faces, making them more relaxed around familiar fish and more guarded with strangers.
The Masked julie, Julidochromis transcriptus, uses the pattern around the eyes of other individuals to identify them, researchers have discovered.
In the wild, J. transcriptus lives in rock crevices hidden by vegetation in Lake Tanganyika. As a result, only a small part of the fish's body tends to be visible at any time.
Scientists from Osaka City University in Japan isolated eight adult males from a group of familiar individuals and exposed them to digital models of fish that had both familiar and unfamiliar features on both their heads and bodies.
They found that the males spent more time following those models with faces they did not recognise, to monitor any potential threat. The models which had only differences in body and fin shape didn’t provoke the same response.
“We found that our subjects were especially guarded against only unfamiliar face models, regardless of body type,” says Takashi Hotta of Osaka City University.
The National Betta show takes place in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
This is the biggest Betta show in the UK with more than 250 fish on display along with trade stalls. The show also includes a huge Betta auction — so pop along and bag some amazing fish!
There will be a raffle where you can win food and Betta toys such as flare mirrors and Betta hammocks! Refreshments are available and parking is free.
The National Betta Show takes place at The Rockingham Centre, Sheffield Road, Hoyland, Barnsley, S74 0PY.
More info: Facebook.com/groups/bettashow