Glassfish uses stealth tactics to eat scales

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A new study of a species of Asian glassfish has shown that the fish feeds on the scales of other fishes.

Kirk Winemiller and Archis Grubh studied the ambassid glassfish Chanda nama, which is found in fresh and brackish waters in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and revealed that it is a facultative lepidophage, or part-time scale eater.

Their paper in this quarter's issue of the journal Copeia describes how C. nama feeds on fish scales by using a combination of stealth and ambush tactics.

Grubh and Winemiller show that Chanda nama dislodges the scales of its prey by "raking" the flanks with its lower jaw which is armed with four curved conical teeth.

Although the species also feeds on small crustaceans and insects throughout its life, scale-eating is predominantly seen in adults.