Fish Species at

Ready, Aim — Fire!

Watching archerfish eat is half the fun of keeping them.

By Stephen Noble

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A jerking movement sparks the attention of a lurking archerfish. With great interest, the deadly predator takes a 45-degree angle to the surface and subtly adjusts to the gentle current. Like a periscope, just the tip of the hunter’s mouth betrays its presence. Having honed in on this appetizing target more than a minute earlier, the archerfish patiently waits for the right combination of a “clear” shot, distance and a suitable impact area for the prey to fall. With lightning speed, a powerful jet of water tears the bug from its perch, and in the blink of an eye — it is gone.

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