There is something so cute and even a little bit endearing about a saltwater reef fish which has an obvious physical deformity, but acts just like a normal fish. We’ve all seen them, the one-eyed fish, the clownfish swimming in circles because it has only one pectoral fin.
But there’s one category of disadvantaged reef fish which is surprisingly common, and that’s the fish with no tails. A wrasse with no tail could never make it in the wild, but for some reason there seems to be no shortage of angelfish and butterflyfish that seem to get along just fine without a posterior.
Perhaps it’s because they have such high dorsal and anal fins that they can compensate for having no tail, and in some specimens these two fins almost merge to form a continuous around-the-world fin. We’ve covered many different examples of tailless fish over the years, but a recent trio of tailless pygmy angelfish motivated me to revisit the subject again.
One of these is a tailless heraldi angelfish from RVS Fishworld, and the other two are tailless eibl’s and rusty angelfish from Japan. The ‘unique’ eibl and rusty angels are listed on the Aqua-Gift website and interestingly, these disabled fish are actually priced at $180 each, or five times the cost of their normal counterparts. Its nice to see that these special fish are actually being valued for their originality, ensuring their future owners recognize that these fish are special, and worthy of a little extra attention.