Meet the Four-Eyed Fish

Within the family Anablepidae, there is a genus Anableps which are known as four-eyed fish. They are found in Central and South America in fresh or brackish waters. These fish are live bearers and interestingly they exhibit a “sidedness”. Males that are left-handed may only mate with females that are right-handed.

Now the fish do not have four eyes exactly, but in both eyes they can see above and below water simultaneously. This is a good super power to have when you spend most of your time on the surface foraging insects.

Photo Credit: Paul Zahl/National Geographic

The retina is specialized so that half receives light from the aquatic environment and the other from the aerial environment. Recent research found that the dorsal and ventral retina have differential gene expression. Click here for a link to the article to learn more.

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.

Author: Heidi Kay Smith

Biology PhD student on the cusp of finishing and moving on to a postdoc in the behavioral ecology of amphibians. I blog to share my thoughts, ideas, and general feelings of awe of the natural world.

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