Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Mainly found in freshwater, sometimes in brackish parts of lagoons and mangrove coastlines (Ref. 26938). Moves in schools (Ref. 26938). Feeds on insects (Ref. 7020), other invertebrates and diatoms living on the mud, and small fishes (Ref. 35237). Can remain on mud bottom exposed to air during low tide (Ref. 26938). Used in eye research (Ref. 4537). Often travels in schools (Ref. 26938).
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Distribution

South America: Trinidad and Venezuela to the Amazon delta in Brazil.
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Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 200 mm ---
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Max. size

30.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 35237)); max. published weight: 400 g (Ref. 35237)
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Diagnostic Description

Eye divided into aerial and aquatic parts. Fewer than 80 scales in row above lateral line (Ref. 26938).
  • Smith, C.L. 1997 National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p. (Ref. 26938)
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

demersal; non-migratory; freshwater; brackish
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.3 - 0.3
 
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Trophic Strategy

Mainly found in freshwater, sometimes in brackish parts of lagoons and mangrove coastlines. Moves in schools. Feeds on insects. Can remain on mud bottom exposed to air during low tide.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Length at birth 4.5 5.2 cm TL (Ref. 35237).
  • Zurlo, G. 1995 Zur Fortpflanzungsbiologie von Vieraugenfischen. p. 165-171. In H. Greven and R. Riehl (eds.) Fortpflanzungsbiologie der Aquarienfische. Birgit Schmettkamp Verlag, Bornheim, Germany.
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Eyes see above and below water surface: four-eyed fish
 

Split eyes of the four-eyed fish allow it to see above and below the surface of the water simultaneously due to varying thickness in the lens.

   
  "Native to Caribbean lagoons, Anableps anableps is commonly known as the four-eyed fish because its two eyes are split by horizontal partitions into two halves, each of which has its own iris and retina. This unique optical construction lets the fish swim at the surface of the water, with the upper half of each eye scanning the air for predatory fish-eating birds, and the lower half peering down below the surface, in search of small fish to feed on…Despite each eye being partitioned, there is only one oval-shaped lens per eye. Because vision through water requires a thicker lens than vision through air, the fish's eye is ingeniously adapted to fulfill two purposes, with the lower portion of each eye's lens (through which the fish sees underwater) thicker than the upper portion (through which the fish sees in air)." (Shuker 2001:12-13)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
  • Mills, D. and G. Vevers 1989 The Tetra encyclopedia of freshwater tropical aquarium fishes. Tetra Press, New Jersey. 208 p. (Ref. 7020)
  • Wiley, E.O. 1978 Anablepidae. In W, Fischer (ed.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Central Atlantic (fishing area 31). Vol. 1, FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9589)
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Wikipedia

Anableps anableps

Anableps anableps, the largescale four-eyed fish is a species of four-eyed fish found in fresh and brackish waters of northern South America and Trinidad. This species grows to a length of 32 centimetres (13 in) TL. This fish can be found in the aquarium trade.

Largescale four-eyed fish at Hellabrunn Zoo

References[edit]


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