The Indonesian Tiger Fish (Datnioides microlepis) is without any doubt the most beautiful species of Tiger Perch. These large growing predators can reach a maximum length around 50 cm and are wonderful show fish for large aquaria. But the photographed fish are still young, 4-6 cm long.
There are two populations of this perch, one originating from the southeast Asian mainland (the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins, this population is sometimes regarded as a separate species, D. pulcher) which has invariably 5 bars, while specimens from Indonesia have an individually variable number of bars. Both have in common the double bar on the tail.
It is fascinating to observe how fast the fish can change their coloration. When the fish are in a cool mood, they show the typical dark bars on a light ground. When the fish are upset – for example on hunt – they become very dark within a glimpse. Even small tiger fish prefer other fish as food. The feeder fish are hunted by swimming after them or by lying in ambush. When the latter tactic is chosen, only the light blaze discloses the hunter. The remaining body melts optically with the background.
For our customers: the fish have code 414002 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Datnioides: means “similar to Datnia”; Datnia is another genus of fish. microlepis: means “with small scales”. pulcher: means “beautiful”.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer