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Fish with peculiar preying method

11 December 2013 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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 By Sajeewa Wijeweera
Researchers of aquatic life have found a carnivorous fish that splashes saliva at the red-ant nests and other insects in the branches of trees hanging over the rivers and feed on them when they drop into the water.

The fish identified as archer fish (Dimittha) is a fresh water fish living in rivers and water  in the south-western wet zone of the country. However it is not a fish endemic to Sri Lanka.

Earlier it was believed that it splashed water, but the researche  conducted recently by  Prof. Alberto Vailati and Prof. Artish Bhatia of the Milan University in Italy proved that Dimittha  splashed saliva at the insects in the branches of trees  several feet high and fed on them.

“Dimittha  known as Archerfish is found in several countries in the South Asian and Pacific region including Sri Lanka.  It is an ornamental fish popular among the fish breeders all over the world mainly due to its peculiar preying habit”.  

Environmentalists pointed out that any insect hit by the splash of saliva falls into the water, dead or alive. They said Dimittha had a sharp vision that enabled him to locate any minute creature and that it could hit a target at a height of about two metres above the surface of water.




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