'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Monday, 3 September 2012

Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Two colors in one fish!  Such an unusual-coloured fish was too hard for me to resist.  This is the last tropical species that caught my eye while I was artist in residence at the pet shop last month.

The Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius) is found in slow-moving water throughout Asia.  Although these pretty little red and blue fish usually only grow to about 2 inches, they are traditionally caught and dried as food.  
Of course they are also very popular for aquaria.  There are red and white versions too.

Apparently, before they mate, they make a 'bubble nest' of air trapped inside twigs and leaves.  The male collects up the eggs lad by the females, fertilizes them, and then pops them in this nest.  

Their long, thin, front fins are very sensitive.  I've tried to capture the shimmering quality of the sky blue spots against the orangey-brown.


  1. Beautiful observation as usual - both zoological and artistic.

    1. when I was a teenage geek... I used to keep these sweet natured and shy little fish..... they were always bullied as I recall!

    2. They certainly seem very gentle fish John. They get on well with tetras.

  2. A delicate fishy portrait ~the colours are lovely indeed! I have kept Dwarf Gouramis, they are great specimens to have in a tank. My favourite are the kissing Gouramis..cute and comical.