Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes the Anableps, one of nature’s creatures that is incredibly bizarre!

The Four-eyed Fish are fascinating to watch, both in nature and in the aquarium. Rather than swimming underwater as most fish do, they mostly cruise about on the surface.

These are livebearing fish, also known as “Anableps,” and they are just about a foot long. These fish are uniquely adapted with a pair of divided eyes that allow them to see above and below the water at the same time!

Anableps are found along coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean off of Central and South America. They live in freshwater lagoons as well as the mouths of rivers and mangrove swamps where the ebb and flow of the tides create a constantly fluctuating salinity. These waters provide them with a rich diet of insects, worms and even small fish. At low-tide periods they can be seen in humongous shoals, with groups numbering in the hundreds.

anablep Four-eyed fish
Image Credit: Podolnaya Elena, Shutterstock

Four-eyed Fish can literally watch out for predators approaching from the sky while they are scouting for prey of their own in the water and along the water’s edge.

They are strong swimmers and great jumpers. Using their large, strong pectoral fins they will dash forward to snatch their prey. They will even leap onto the mud and sand at the water’s edge to nab a tasty insect, and then push themselves back into the water.

The unique Anableps are a fascinating fish for the aquarist! Set them up with a broad, shallow brackish water aquarium, and they can be observed from above as well as from the side. They are quite hardy and their unique swimming and feeding behaviors make them a marvel to watch. The Four-eyed fish offer a spectacle that will rival any other type of aquatic habitat!

Learn more about these incredible livebearer fish. See pictures and information for the Four-Eyed Fish Anableps anableps, along with their habitat and aquarium care!

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Featured Image Credit: feathercollector, Shutterstock