Damselfish Fish Even More Obsessive About Gardening Than Previously Thought

Marine biologists have known for a while about the territorial instincts of the damselfish. (That’s one in that video there, the two-tone yellow-and-black number, telling a bunch of other fish and a scuba diver to get the hell off its lawn.) The small, tropical reef fish is famous for claiming a patch of algae and chasing off any other creatures than swim or crawl nearby. But that’s not all! Scientists at Japan’s Ehime University have recently discovered the damselfish, or stegastes nigricans, actually tends its garden, cultivating certain types of algae it likes to eat while weeding out more fibrous, less digestible varieties and dumping them outside its property. “An intensive farmer, stegastes nigricans does weeding on less digestible algae,” said Ehime’s Hiroki Hata, “and it results in a monoculture of a specific algal species.”

That’s totally cool. But really, the damselfish should just go to Home Depot and get itself some Roundup spray. It kills weeds by the roots, guaranteed! It’s rainproof in ten minutes! With visible results in six hours! Then he could relax, stay inside where there’s air conditioning and watch the game.