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The Archerfish has mastered capturing their prey down to a fine art.

MAQ Archerfish 572x289

The Archerfish

The Archerfish has mastered capturing their prey down to a fine art. Named after its ability to shoot down resting insects with a spitting jet of water, the Archerfish can spit accurately to a distance to about 1.5 meters!

Sharp Shooters! How do they do it?

  • They place their tongue against the groove on the roof of their moth to form a tube
  • Their snout then sticks out of the water, while the rest of the fish is underwater to steady themselves
  • For accurate aim, they have large eyes which allows good binocular vision
  • By quickly snapping shut their gills, water shoots out of their mouth!


Crafty Capturers

The Archerfish’s special ability relies heavily on its vision. Research shows that the Archerfish can see its victim through the water without the image being distorted.

These crafty capturers can shoot down bugs on overhanging plants, spiders that have spun their webs above the water and unsuspecting insects flying overhead. When its prey is hit by the drops, it falls into the water and it’s dinner time!

Archerfish Fast Facts:

  • Common Name: Banded Archer Fish
  • Scientific name: Toxotes jaculatrix
  • Habitat: Open ocean, estuaries and mangroves
  • Diet: Plant matter, insects, crustaceans and small fish
  • Size: 20 – 30cm
  • Range: North-western Western Australia to northern Queensland
  • Threats: Habitat loss and pollution
  • Conservation Status: Least concern 
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