Not to be confused with the banded archerfish, clouded archerfish are primarily found in southern Myanmar, between Bangladesh and Thailand. These small fish inhabit freshwater estuaries, rivers, small streams and even open water where they feed on floating plant and insect debris.
  • Size

    8 to 12 inches
  • Diet

    Floating insects and plant debris
  • Range

  • Habitat

    Freshwater estuaries, rivers, small streams

Physical Characteristics

  • Archerfish are a small, deep-bodied fish with an upturned mouth. The lower jaw extends beyond the upper.
  • Its body has a silver-grey base with a brown, black or grey on the top fading into silver on the underside. There are several black splotches on the sides of the body.
  • Most commonly reaches a length of about 8 inches (20 cm), but occasionally individuals as long as 12 inches (30 cm) have been reported.

Animal Fact

Like banded archerfish, clouded archerfish are known for their ability to “shoot down” insect prey, but they can also leap 11 inches out of the water to catch insects!

Diet / Feeding

  • Clouded archerfish feeds during the daytime at the surface on floating insect and plant debris.
  • Uses its ability to “spit” water out of its mouth and “shoot down” prey by expelling beads of water with considerable force. Also capable of leaping 11 inches (30 cm) out of water to catch insects in its mouth.
  • Its shooting range is about 60 inches (150 cm).

Range / Habitat

  • Clouded archerfish occurs primarily in Asia in southern Myanmar, located between Bangladesh and Thailand, in the provinces of Salween, Sittaung and Ayeyarwaddy.
  • Found primarily in freshwater estuaries, rivers and small streams but can also be found in open waters.
  • This fish is pelagic and may also occur near open waters instead of smaller bodies of water.

Conservation Status

  • “Data Deficient” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Archerfish uses its jaw muscles to pump water through a tube formed by its tongue and a unique channel in the roof of its mouth. The stream of water droplets knocks its prey into the water where it is easily devoured.
  • One of the most remarkable aspects of this hunting behavior is that the fish can compensate for visual refraction while looking from beneath the water surface to a target in the air above.
  • Its aim is very accurate due to special adaptations in the eye which give it an unusually large area on the retina in which it can focus an image and still have the image be clear.
  • Popular among home aquarists.
  • In some parts of its range, it is harvested and sold fresh in the marketplace.


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