Scientific Name: Aplocheilus blockii
Tamil Name: Pachaimmundkanni
Description: Yellowish red with a metallic sheen with alternating rows of brassy yellow and smaller red spots. A black spot at base of dorsal fin. Vertical fins are lemon yellow with magnificent red to brown dots in male (females lack dots). Anal fin in male bordered with flaming red. Males are large and more brightly coloured than females.
Habitat & distribution: It occurs in fresh and brackish waters of coastal plains, both tanks and rivers. This is the smallest and the prettiest of the fishes in the genus. The breeding season is between January and February. It is distributed in India, Kerala, Sri Lamka and Kutch (Gujarat).
Note: It feeds on mosquitoes and the role in pest control is recognized.
Photo: Dr J D Marcus Knight