The Archerfish Species is a monotypic family. The archerfish, or spinner fish, is a saltwater fish that lives in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The family is small and consists of ten species in a single genus, Toxotes. Most species live in freshwater rivers, streams, pools, and estuaries. Two or three of the species are euryhaline: they inhabit both fresh and brackish water.
One of the species, T. jaculatrix, is found in freshwater rivers and streams as well as brackish mangrove swamps. The Archerfish is a tropical and subtropical fish that can be found in Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Melanesia.
The archerfish is known for its unique hunting method. Its diet consists of land bugs and other small animals, which it shoots down with a jet of water. They are able to shoot prey down with water droplets from their specialized mouths. The archerfish hunts for food with the help of a glandular secretion from the roof of its mouth, which shoots an insect attracting prey.
Archerfish are notoriously unique in their shooting. Almost every time, an adult fish hits the target on the first shot. While it is widely believed that all archerfish species do this. They can bring down insects and other prey up to 3m above water level. This is partially due to their good eyesight, but also to their ability to compensate for refraction.
When an archerfish chooses its prey, the fish rotates its eye so that the image of the prey falls on a particular portion of the eye. The fish then squirts a jet of water at its victim by forming a small groove in the roof of its mouth and tongue into a narrow channel. The archerfish does this by contracting its gill covers and forcing water through the channel.
The position of the fish that shoots up to seven times in succession is directly beneath the prey, and they learn this is their best shooting spot. When shooting up to three meters, they are accurate only around one to one and a half meters. The blast of water may not bring down insects but the weight of the water on its wings brings it down.
Body Description of The Archerfish Species
The archerfish is a small fish, and its body can grow up to 15 cm long. It has silver stripes and two black spots on top of its head. An archerfish is a small tropical fish that lives in large rivers, lagoons, and lakes with abundant growth of water hyacinths. It is characterized by its largemouth, the depths of which are about one-third the length of its head.
The trunk has two pairs of fully formed fins: pectoral fins and pelvic fins. The fish has a slender body with a pointed face. The dorsal and anal fins are far back on the body, and the tail has a rounded edge. It is silver-gray or greenish-brown with yellow spots on its sides.
The Banded Archerfish have four to six black vertical bars on its body. The first bar is across the eye, and the last is before the tail end. These black bars are also seen in their dorsal fin as well as their anal fin. Since they have these bars it was given its name of Banded Archerfish.
Since they are omnivores, they can be fed live insects, mealworms, and freeze-dried plankton. Dry seaweed can also be given to them as they grow. Smaller fish can also be given to them as they grow since they hunt other aquatic creatures in the wild too. Most insects are eaten with relish. They have an average life of 8-10 years to live.