Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Friday Fish: Toxotes jaculatrix

The banded archerfish, one of seven species in the genus renowned for their ability to shoot water beyond the surface to knock terrestrial animals from water-overhanging vegetation.

I met a school of these guys during my recent visit to Simon Fraser University. A couple of guys on the aquatics staff showed me around the facilities that I'd never had reason to visit during my studies there, including a large custom-built aquarium, really a small artificial pond, containing about two dozen individuals of this species. They're surprisingly large; adults can apparently reach sizes of 40cm. We placed frozen krill and some live crickets on structures suspended over the pool, and watched the fish shoot them down with uncanny accuracy. Not just accuracy in targetting; they were also very proficient at predicting the impact site of airborne objects, a skill they use to steal food from each other. These are really fascinating fish to watch.

Photo credit here.
I took the picture of the lab, which explains but does not excuse the generally poor quality of the image.

1 comment:

mens trousers said...

jaculatrix i like it,just put gold fish in your aquarium with this jaculatrix.