Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Vertebrates: Fish
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
Toxotes jaculatrix
Family Toxotidae

20 cm

Many mangrove fish feed on insects accidentally failing onto the water surface. But the Archerfish is too impatient to wait.

Its elongated mouth has an internal channel (a 'barrel') through which water can be forcefully pumped by its powerful jaw muscles.
close-up of archerfish

archerfishes in water seen from above
Archerfish (arrow)
near the water surface

This jet of water is strong enough to shoot through the air and knock down insects.

The Archerfish's eye is designed to spot and aim accurately at insects - fully compensating for the refraction which takes place when light travels from water to light. When the fish fails to shoot down its prey (as even the most accomplished marksman sometimes does), it is able to leap high out of the water to snatch the insect.

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What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre