This Earth Day, I wanted to call attention to a species of freshwater fish I keep whose habitat is rapidly declining due to climate change and pollution. These are my honeycomb catfish. I know some of you are thinking, look, these are cute little goofballs but we have bigger problems than a bunch of little fish losing their habitat. Here’s the thing: very little is known about these guys except that when it gets dark, they eat insects from the water’s surface. And they eat insane amounts very quickly. In the wild, each one of these fish could consume hundreds of mosquito larvae and adults every night. Without little fish like these, mosquitos could breed like mad, spreading diseases like malaria and Zika, and people will die. Unassuming species like these are critically important and most people don’t know they exist. Most people think saving animals is a first world problem. It’s not. We shouldn’t be saving animals only because we think they are cute or fun to see. We need them, and we are screwing ourselves over by not protecting them.

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