Archerfishes


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Archerfishes or rifflefishes are the common names used for the Toxotidae family. They are distributed from India to the Philippines, Australia and Polynesia. They are recognized by having moderately deep and compressed body, large eyes, dorsal fin located towards the posterior end of body, and moderately large and protractile mouth.

Archerfishes are found in shallow depth mangrove shores, brackish estuaries, and freshwaters. They are usually seen in small aggregations, but sometimes alone, close to the surface. They are omnivorous but mainly feed on insects by squirting water at them, knocking them out from branches or in the air. The water squirt is known to be accurate over a distance of at least 2 meters.

There is only one genus and about 7 species worldwide. Malaysian is represented by 3 species.


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Scientific Name: Toxotes chatareus  (Hamilton, 1822)
English Name: Spotted Archerfish
Mandarin Name: 查达射水鱼(Chá dá shè shuǐ yú),
Local Malay Name: Sumpit-sumpit, Sumpit Tanda
Size: Maximum total length about 50 cm, very rarely exceeding 35 cm, commonly to about 25 cm.






Scientific Name: Toxotes jaculatrix  (Pallas, 1767)
English Name: Banded Archerfish, Northern Riflefish
Mandarin Name: 射水鱼(Shèshuǐ yú),
Local Malay Name: Sumpit-sumpit, Sumpit Belang
Size: Maximum total length about 30 cm, commonly to about 20 cm.