Pantodon buchholzi

12. July 2016


If there would be a Top Ten ranking on the most extraordinary species of freshwater fish of the world, this species would appear for sure: the African Butterfly fish, Pantodon buchholzi. We have this strange animal – it becomes about 10 cm long – always in stock. Our specimens originate from Nigeria.



Pantodon can really fly, he is a glider. There is a legend that says Pantodon was not discovered by an ichthyologist, but by a collector of butterflies. This collector caught Pantodon during a flight and thought initially the fish would be a moth. The Butterfly fish is a stricly surface-dwelling species. In the wild, it lives in quite shallow water of swamps. The ventral fins are modified to sensitiv organs that help the fish to orient. Pantodon can survive in almost oxygen free water due to a special organ that allows the fish to breath air that is swallowed from the water surface. Males can be easily recognized by the modified anal fin. Butterfly fishes often spawn in aquaria, but the offspring is difficult to rear, because the larvae feed exclusively from the water surface – like their parents do.



Butterfly fishes are peaceful agains other fish, but they tend to be a bit anxious. So it is recommended to keep them only with very calm and peaceful fish. Against conspecifics Butterfly fishes can be quarrelsome, but this behaviour is usual only evanescent.


For our customers: the Butterfly fish has code 155004 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer