Ark Galactapedia

  • Indigenous to

    Locke (Idris IV)


The vindel is a detritivorous fish indigenous to the shallow freshwater river and ponds of Locke (Idris IV), United Empire of Earth (UEE). Like other detritivorous animals, it feeds on the waste and dead material that collects at the bottom of bodies of water. The tentacles on its head aid the vindel in digging through the substrate to find food. Because of its small size and the voracity of its appetite, the vindel is favored by aquarium enthusiasts to control algae blooms and consume the waste of other fish.


A vindel can be identified by its distinctive mottled green scaleless skin and the six tentacles that sprout from the front of its flattened head. Instead of eyes, vindels have two false eye spots on their backs, which are used to deceive potential predators. The false eyes double as electroreceptors that alert the vindel if a potential predator gets too close. They have four triangular, blue-green pectoral fins, a long, thin dorsal fin, and blue-green tail fins. Over a 20 year life cycle, the vindel grows no more than 25 cm long.


On Locke, vindels exist in every climate except the arctic. They are highly adaptive, capable of breathing in very murky water, and have even been found in brackish water near the mouths of rivers. Water that has been purchased on or harvested from Locke must be thoroughly inspected for vindels before it is taken off world. Vindels that have made it into the water supply of spacecraft have been known to survive there for up to two standard weeks before starving.

In the wild, vindels spawn in the spring and summer, or when the water that they inhabit reaches a temperature of between 21 and 29 degrees Celsius. When they are ready to spawn, the male locates a nesting area such as between rocks, in the roots of plants, undercuts of banks, or other areas in which the eggs can be protected from strong currents. After the female lays her eggs, the male fertilizes them and drives the female from the nest. He then guards the eggs, chasing off predators and fanning them with his fins to keep them free of excessive sediment. The eggs hatch after roughly 12 standard Earth days. After all the eggs have hatched, the male leaves, and the fry disperse. Vindels can spawn every three standard weeks.

The fry that are not eaten by predators or otherwise killed reach maturity in about one Standard Earth Year. They generally do not breed until they have reached at least 15 cm in length.


Thanks to its hearty constitution and appetite for algae, the vindel has become a popular aquarium fish since its discovery in 2494 by United Nations of Earth (UNE) surveyors. A vindel needs little supplementary feeding unless it is the only fish in its tank, and can survive in a wide range of temperatures. However, these attributes have also made it an invasive species in many parts of the UEE. It was so successful in taking root on Reisse (Rhetor III) that it caused the extinction of 11 other indigenous detritivores before the Governors Council was able to enact measures to get it under control. Fish enthusiasts who have released their vindels into the wild are subject to hefty fines.