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Polycentropsis abbreviata


Polycentropsis abbreviata
African Leaf Fish
非洲叶鱼
Like the closely related Polycentrus species from South America, with which it is sometimes confused, this fish is camouflaged to mimic a dead leaf, both in body shape and pattern. It can also change colour to match its surroundings. When hunting, it stalks its prey in a head-down stance, appearing to drift towards it like a dead leaf drifting in a current. In reality the fish is propelled by tiny movements of its transparent hind fins. 
When it strikes at an item of prey, the entire mouth protrudes outwards, forming a tube into which the prey is sucked, usually head first. This happens so quickly it is often difficult to see. It can swallow prey almost as big as itself in this way. 
It is quite rare in the hobby, and is not the easiest fish to maintain in captivity. It is therefore not recommended for the beginner. In addition to being a voracious predator, Polycentropsis abbreviata is also a somewhat flighty species that is very sensitive to deteriorations in water quality.
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