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Animals & Attractions

Banded Archer Fish

We are currently home to a small group of banded archer fish.

In the Zoo

They can be seen in the entrance tanks at Brilliant Birds

In the Wild

Banded archer fish (Toxotes jaculatrix) are native to Australia, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and India. They live in mangrove swamps and feed on a variety of insects, plant matter, crustaceans and small fish.

Adult banded archer fish can reach 20-30 cm in length and both sexes have an oblong body shape, silver in colour with black, wedge shaped bands running down from itheir backs.

These fish are famous for their unusual hunting tactics. They lurk just beneath the surface under low lying vegetation. When they see the silhouette of an insect through a leaf they move into position and shoot a powerful jet of water beads from their mouth. This knocks the insect into the water and within just 50 milliseconds of it landing, the archer fish has the insect safely locked in its jaws. These water beads can travel up to 1.5m (5ft).

Although they are not currently classed as endangered, they are threatened by the destruction of their mangrove habitat. Others are collected and sold into the aquarium trade.

Find out more


Not Endangered NE
Data Deficient DD
Least Concern LC
Near Threatened NT
Vulnerable VU
Endangered EN
Critically Endangered CR
Extinct in the wild EW
Extinct EX

Least Concern

For more info on classifications visit


No Size facts available for this animal.


Population is unknown, IUCN September 2011


  • Rivers and Wetlands

    Rivers and Wetlands


Insectivore Insectivore
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