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Archerfish Hunts and Kills it Land-based Prey with Deadly Aim

Updated on March 16, 2011

The Archerfish has mystified people as to how it catches its prey for years.  West Australian Scientists have finally unlocked the secret of how it kills and hunts its land-based prey.  This cunning fish can torpedo any fast moving insect from their position of a leafy perch by spitting a jet of water with incredible accuracy.

 

 

Archerfish

Not like Other varieties of Fish

Archerfish aptly named because of its capability of shooting a stream of water at it unwary insect sitting on a branch above water level. These fish are native to Northern Australia, Sri Lank and New Guinea. They grow between 20 to 40cms in length and Its body color is normally silver with black dots along its back.

They feed on insects and debris in the water and catching the insects through its unusual killer like spout of water, which knocks the insect into the water where the archerfish is ready and waiting.

Biologists have revealed that this fish can tune its eyes in three different directions. Not only focusing on land above water level it can focus on predators under the water and sees it all in color. This revelation may be the reason behind how this fish can adapt to any environment on this earth giving it a better advantage over all the other types of fish.

These unusual fish have found a way to tune the rods and cones across their retina to suit a shadowlike variance which enables it to see in and out of the water. To do this it angles it jaw to shoot the water in it mouth at the insects. The archerfish eats the insect or grasshopper before it has time to escape.

It is believed that this study could lead to different ideas in designing sensors for underwater navigation vehicles.

Can archerfish be kept in an aquarium?

You can keep archerfish in an aquarium, although it would need to be a large one for the smaller archer fish, and they need clean brackish water. These type of fish are not for the beginner aquarium owner.

Start young archerfish on two teaspoons of salt per gallon of water and reduce this as they grow.

Can you put other fish in with archer fish?

You can although you would need the other fish to be much larger than the archerfish so they cannot eat them. Archerfish will also eat worms.

Precaution

 

As I said earlier these types of fish are for the experts to have in aquariums as there is a lot to learn about keeping brackish water fish.

 

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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Ethel Yes I had never heard of them before. Weird but clever

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Fascinating fish.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Beatsme, yes with an accurate aim like that we sure would be in trouble hey what. thanks for stopping by

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 

      8 years ago

      They look like scary little fishes. Good thing they only eat insects. :)

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      D A L Thanks so much, and I am glad that you enjoyed it. We learn so much from different hubs just by reading everyone elses. thanks.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Eileen Hughes, nice to be taught about wildlife in other countries. Enjoyed this informative hub very much . Thank you.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Nemingha, thank for stopping by

      Support med, yes they find out what makes things tick that for sure.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Eileen: The researchers/scientists always seems to find a way and reason for animal experimentation/exploitation and advancement of medicine and technology. Hope, the study will help in developing sensors for underwater navigation vehicles.

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 

      8 years ago

      Nice, informative hub. Thanks Eileen.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      valeriebelew, yes we have so much to learn and can keep on learning through the hubs too

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 

      8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Interesting Eileen, guess you learn something new every day. (: v

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      daisyjae, Thank you for that.

      Maven101, yeh we have everything and we are a weird mob, but oh so friendly thats the main thing.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 

      8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Very interesting...Australia seems to have the strangest creatures on earth...Kangaroos ( giant mice ? ), Platypus ( cross between a duck and a fish ), just to name a couple...Thanks for this latest entry...Larry

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 

      8 years ago from Canada

      What an interesting hub!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      the voice, glad that you stopped by thanks

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 

      8 years ago from carthage ill

      smart detailed hub read interesting thanks

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      stars439, Thanks for reading this yes unusual thats for sure.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      diamondrn, Sorry I only know what I read and learn so much that way.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Fascinating creature. What a fish ! God Bless.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      I suppose someone is going to say that the Archerfish "learned" this behavior in some sort of evolutionary miracle; that it's not encoded in their genes/DNA by an intelligence much higher than that evidenced in our pay grade.

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