"Rare Lates calcarifer are prized for their size, their mesmerizing presence, and the way they interact with people."
It is a pleasure to be mesmerized by the slow, graceful movements of this species of fish swimming through an aquarium. One of Australia’s most iconic and beloved fish, Lates calcarifer or barramundi, are prized additions to luxury tanks because of their presence, intelligence and responsive nature.
They grow to an impressively large size (up to 1.1m or 3.6ft) and are expressive and interactive. They will observe you through the glass, follow you as you walk past the aquarium, show emotion, and can be trained to accept food by hand and human touching.
The fish are one of just a few species that can live in both fresh and salt water. Nearly all are born males and become females when they have grown to around 80cm (2.6ft) in size. Under ideal conditions, barramundi can live to be 25 years old.
A creature of mystery, intelligence and spiritual significance.
The word barramundi comes from the language of Australia’s ancient indigenous peoples and means ‘large-scaled silver fish’. For indigenous Australians, a connection to nature lies at the core of their spirituality.
One Aboriginal creation story describes two forbidden lovers who, to avoid their angry tribe and be together forever, were forced to go into the water to live - taking the shape of barramundi hiding in the reeds.
Another Dreamtime story describes how a group of women trap a barramundi that has swum into a cave by placing nets at the mouth of the cave. But the clever fish swims and jumps over them. As it jumps, it sheds some of its silver scales, leaving them behind in the shallow water where legend says that over time they became diamonds.