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Meet the Robin Hood of the sea who is more accurate that even the best human archer

Banded archerfish are native to Australia, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and India. They have an elongated body that is laterally compressed, making it rather thin. The shape of its face is pointy around the mouth. This narrow profile allows it to have precise aim when taking down prey.

This carnivorous fish gets it’s name from the powerful “super soaker” built in. The fish float near the surface of the brackish water they prefer, awaiting spiders and insects. Once a tasty bug is directly above them, they shoot a powerful stream of water to knock the insect into the water.

Archerfish are such successful hunters because of three factors:

  1. Eyesight – These fish have got great eyesight and are able to compensate for the refraction of the light as it passes from air through water.
  2. Mouth – Archerfish form a small groove in the roof of its mouth and its tongue into a narrow channel. It then fires by contracting its gill covers and forcing water through the channel, shooting a stream at their target. However if it is a difficult target they can shoot seven streams at once.
  3. Practice – When archerfish are young they hunt in schools. They are very inaccurate and so hunting together increases their chances in hitting their target and can learn from watching each other.


Fish: Skilled predatory fish

What do they eat?

Insects, mealworms and plankton


Max 30cm

Water Type


Where are we?

Southeast Asia, India, Australia, Melanesia

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