Tadpole becomes dinner.
My father brought home a treat for my fish today - live tadpoles! I wasn't sure they'd be able to do anything to them, the tadpoles were already quite large, some were nearly the size of the bettas. But I figured, hey, why not, if the betta doesn't kill them I'll be able to watch them grow up into frogs and they can keep the bettas company for a week or so. Well the bettas quickly proved me wrong about their ability to deal with larger prey. It just makes me wonder all the more why people think tiny little fish like neon tetras would make good companions for bettas when they so obviously will attack anything in their territory, bite-size or not.
If the thought of seeing a betta eating a live tadpole disturbs you, DO NOT scroll down any further, as these pictures will not be to your liking.
*cough* okay, disclaimers aside, I thought this was really cool, and wanted to share it with you all and see what you thought. Threw one of the tadpoles in with one of my bettas currently in quarantine and sat back to watch.
After an initial bout of flaring at the tadpole, a short but furious chase ensued. THe bettas is apparently faster, but the tadpole can turn in a tighter radius.
This is a good comparison shot on how big those tadpoles are compared to a betta.
The betta attacks by disemboweling the tadpole. That's what the swirls in the bottom right of this picture are. The betta does not eat the intestines.
What? Have I got something stuck between my teeth?
And here's a couple shots from one of the other boys eating his tadpole, just to show that they all seem to attack the prey in the same fashion. There is a fast strike to grab and then the prey is disemboweled before being consumed. This guy didn't have quite as clean of a technique and he ended up shaking the tadpole to finish disemboweling it... was kind of like how a dog shakes a toy.
If anyone would like to see these in larger form or some of the other shots I grabbed from this interesting experience, just ask and I can link or post more.