Seven-spot Archerfish

Common Name: Seven-spot Archerfish

Scientific Name: Toxotes chatareus


The Seven-spot Archerfish has a variable colour pattern. The body is typically white or silvery, with six or seven black spots of varying size.

The Seven-spot Archerfish is often called the Common Archerfish.


This species feeds primarily on swimming and floating insects.


It grows to about 40 cm in length.


The archerfishes (family Toxotidae) are well known for their ability to shoot down resting insects by spitting a jet of water. The Seven-spot Archerfish can spit accurately to a distance of about 1.5 m.

It has adaptations to the mouth which enable this spitting ability. The lower image shows the deep groove which runs along the roof of the mouth. A ridge along the top of the tongue fits into this groove. When a Seven-spot Archerfish shoots a jet of water, it raises its tongue against the roof of the mouth forming a tube. The gill covers are then quickly closed which forces water along the tube. The tip of the tongue acts as a valve.

The dorsal profile of the body from the tip of the snout to the dorsal fin is almost straight. This body shape in combination with the location of the dorsal fin well back on the body, allows the fish to swim very close to the surface and look upwards without creating surface disturbance. This is an advantage when hunting insects which rest on overhead vegetation.

Location or Region Found

The Seven-spot Archerfish lives in freshwater and estuarine habitats throughout much of south-east Asia.

Other Type of Archerfish