Facts about this animal
The archerfish is a unique species with several amazing anatomical, physiological, and behavioural features. For instance, it uses its binocular vision to look for prey on or above the surface of the water. It is capable of leaping 30 cm out of the water and catch prey in its mouth. It can also launch a jet of water out of its mouth, to knock down insects flying or walking on plants up to 1.5 m above water level. To this end, it uses the tongue and top of the mouth to form a longitudinal grove, similar to that of a rifle barrel. Once this groove is made the archer can rapidly launch several squirts of water with compression of its gills to knock down prey.
Did you know?
that the archerfish captures its prey by aiming into the air, spitting water at animals, and knocking them out of the air or off plants, down into the water, where it can eat them? This fish has also been known to jump out of the water to catch flying insects in its mouth.
|Name (Scientific)||Toxotes jaculatrix|
|Name (English)||Banded archerfish|
|Name (Spanish)||Pez arquero|
|Local names||Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan sumpit|
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Range||From the Gulf of Aden along the coasts of India and South-East Asia to Northern Australia.|
|Habitat||The species occurs in freshwater, brackish water and saltwater, e.g. mangrove swamps.|
|Zoo population||178 reported to ISIS (2007). Considering that most public aquaria are not part of the WAZA system and do not register their collections with ISIS, available ISIS data are not significant.|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 51 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Fish must be unpacked carefully and under low illumination.
Find this animal on ZooLex
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Why do zoos keep this animal
Zoos and aquariums keep archerfish primarily for educational reasons because of their unique hunting behaviour (spitting water into the air). They are also an excelelnt ambassador species for mangrove conservation.