Our passion for conservation puts us on the lookout for aquarium species we know will thrive with the right care and we started off this year with some new species for you to enjoy on your next visit.
We now proudly house the flame angelfish and superworms at the Aquarium, and how about that for a cool name.
Despite their mighty name, superworms grow to 60mm long at full size and these black beauties have a very dark body. What emerges out of their larvae after 7-10 of solitude are darkling beetles, which start off as light coloured beetles, till that familiar dark pattern shows itself.
Superworms (Zophobas morio) feed on fruit and vegetables but are preyed on by a host of other species, including lizards, turtles, frogs, salamanders, birds, fish and other insectivorous animals.
Our other awesomely named new species is the flame angelfish (Centropyge loricula). These beautiful fish are a species of angelfish, and these thrive in coral reefs and crystal lagoons. They can be found in the Indo-Pacific regions, and often hang out in groups called harems. Typically each harem will consist of three to seven individuals. They tend to feed on algae between depths of 15-60m.
Coral reef degradation, a topic very often discussed by the Research and Conservation blog of the Malta National Aquarium is a threat to these fish, and destructive fishing practices also harm their very existence. Add tourism and coastal development to the mix and you can imagine what a tough life flame angelfish have to endure. Their luring colours make them attractive for aquarium-poachers and their trade can be very harmful to them. We condemn such methods of poaching, and we carry out extensive research when selecting species for our tanks here in Qawra.
New shark hatchlings
The new year brings about sweet and exciting news for all fish-fans as our collaboration with Sharklab has once again provided us with a hatchling. We discussed Sharklab in this blog post, and we are always delighted to see the process go full swing. Well done to the fishermen who brought us the accidentally caught egg cases, as your care can mean the species of catshark can continue to grow and strengthen.