PREY CATCHING IN THE ARCHER FISH: MARKSMANSHIP, AND ENDURANCE OF SQUIRTING AT AN AERIAL TARGET by P.J.A. TIMMERMANS (Department of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, NICI, University of Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands) ABSTRACT Archer fishes (Toxotidae) can bring down aerial arthropods with a yet of water from their mouth. Although most authors seem to assume that squirting down prey is the archer fish's source of food, it has been suggested that this typical foraging technique can not play an important role because, among other things, the height at which a prey can be hit is limited, the fishes soon tire of squirting, and other kinds of food are eaten. Owing to lack of information or differences concerning methods, small numbers of subjects, and may be, differences between species, there is little agreement about the performance of the fish. In order to provide reliable data on marksmanship, endurance of squirting, and diet, the performance of Toxotes chatareus was observed during 25 weeks while the fishes (N = 16) got daily practice squirting at prey. The fishes readily took various kinds of food. Squirting was found to be effective in that the fishes, within 4,5 squirts
Netherlands Journal of Zoology (in 2003 continued as Animal Biology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
Keywords: foraging; archer fish; Toxotes chatareus; prey catching; marksmanship
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