In the gloom of the tangled branches and trailing curtains of the lichen trees, forest flish, appearing as bright little jewels, flit about. They are brightly colored as butterflies, but they dart like wrens and beat their wings almost like hummingbirds.
Like their marine cousins, ocean flish, forest flish fly by means of an expanded pair of pectoral fins. The fins beat at a blurry 30 cycles per second, allowing them to hover and feed, mostly on insects. When roosting, these flish hang upside-down beneath the branches, clinging on by pelvic fins modified to form hooked claws. Hanging in this
way not only provides shelter from the rain, it also makes landing easier. They swoop up to a branch and stall, gripping the branch as they drop. This puts less strain on their pelvic muscles, which would otherwise absorb the impact of landing.
The song of the forest flish, which resounds through the forest as the downpour lessens, is more like the shrill grating of a grasshopper than the fluid notes of a bird. It is produced by stroking together the "teeth" on what remains of the gill arches in the throat. The chirruping sound is amplified by a membrane where the gills used to be. Parts of the gills have also evolved to become ears.
The ocean is the origin of all living things on Earth. The first marine organisms did not have a body structure that would let them move about without the buoyancy of water, nor did they have the means to extract oxygen directly from the air. Dry land and the atmosphere represented dangerous and toxic environments. However, as the forest flish proves, life can overcome any obstacle to occupy all available living spaces.
If there are any forest flish still out on the wing during rainfalls, they are in great danger of certain predators catching them, such as slithersuckers. For most of the time, though, predators of the forest flish are fellow animals, like squibbons.