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Banded Archerfish
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4
 

 

 

 

Order : Perciformes
Family : TOXOTIDAE
Species : Toxotes jaculatrix
Maximum Length : 30 cm

The Banded Archerfish is a member of a closely related group of fishes of the genus Toxotes :  seven species are recognised, of which 6 occur in Southeast Asia. The species inhabits brackish water in river estuaries or mangrove habitat.

Archerfishes are renowned for their ability to spit a stream of water from their mouths to knock insects and other prey from their perch. This is done with such remarkable accuracy that the prey is taken unawares and tumbles from its perch to the water below to be immediately consumed.

The jet of water is reckoned to reach around 1.5 metres or more. Archerfish have also been observed leaping from the water to grab prey from nearby vegetation.

The Banded Archerfish is identified by the three thick dark bands running vertically down the flank. Each gill cover also has a thinner dark band, which is less apparent, and a fifth, very faint, band exists at the base of the tail. Thus, a total of 5 bands is usually apparent, though this may vary in some populations.

The flanks are silvery, the back olive-green or greyish and the dorsal and tail fins greenish or yellowish.

The Banded Archerfish is wide-ranging in coastal waters of the Asia-Pacific, ranging from India in the west through Southeast Asia to the Pacific Islands in the east, and as far south as Australia.


Figs 1 to 3 : Banded Archerfish at Sungei Buloh, Singapore, where large shoals congregate under the  main bridge.

Fig 4 : The closely-related Spotted Archerfish Toxotes chatareus at Sungei Pandan, Singapore.


References :