The striped panchax has always fascinated me with its iridescent white spot on top of its head. It not only has the ability to flaunt it like a princess with its ornament, it can also hide the spot to avoid attention. The tail, with orange lines and dark spots, add to its beauty.

striped panchax

The striped panchax and its variants are found in the streams, rivers, paddy fields, throughout the Western Ghats. This fish lives just by the water surface, in look out for the aquatic and terrestrial insects and larvae, which consists a significant part of its diet. It is possible that it acts as a natural control of mosquitoes, and mosquito-borne diseases. In its natural habitat, it looks like a dull fish as you see it from the top. It is only when you see it from the sides, in clear water, that sparkling colors come out.

Species: aplocheilus lineatus
Common Name: Sparkling Panchax, Striped Panchax or Malabar Killie
Malayalam Name: Nettiye Ponnan, Nettiye Pottan
Location: Meenachil River, Kottayam, Kerala, India
Camera: Nikon D80 + Tamron SP AF90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Lens

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