Animal Species:Banded Archerfish, Toxotes jaculatrix (Pallas, 1767)

The Banded Archerfish is known for its ability to shoot down resting insects by spitting a jet of water. Large archerfishes can hit a target 2-3 m away.

Banded Archerfish at Sydney Aquarium

Stuart Humphries © Stuart Humphries

Standard Common Name

Banded Archerfish

Identification

The Banded Archerfish is usually white or silvery on the body with 4 to 5 black bars on the upper half of the body.

Size range

Reaches a maximum size of about 30 cm.

Distribution

The species is found throughout the Indo-Pacific and in Australia it is recorded from north-western Western Australia to northern Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Toxotes jaculatrix

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Banded Archerfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species mostly lives in mangrove and estuarine habitats throughout much of the Indo-Pacific. It is only rarely encountered in freshwater.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Archerfishes have adaptations to the mouth which enable spitting. When a Banded Archerfish shoots a jet of water, it raises its tongue against the roof of the mouth forming a tube. The gill covers quickly close forcing water along the tube.

Classification

Species:
jaculatrix
Genus:
Toxotes
Family:
Toxotidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

Further Reading

  1. Allen, G.R. 1991. Field Guide to The Freshwater Fishes of New Guinea. Christensen Research Institute. Pub. 9. Pp 268.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Banded Archerfish, Toxotes jaculatrix, Toxotidae, silver, grey, black, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, marine, adult,