Fire Dartfish-Facts and Photographs

Nemateleotris magnifica, the Fire Goby, Fire Fish, Fire Dartfish, or Red Fire Goby The Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the fire goby or Red Fire Dartfish is  an unusually shaped and colorful fish.

APPEARANCE

The Fire dartfish  has a pale yellow head which fades into white with light blue spots. It has a blue line between the eyes that extends back to the dorsal fin. The upper section of the eye has a blue line around it. The rear part of the body is a reddish brown color  with a symmetrical greenish line across the rear dorsal and anal fins. The prominent dorsal fin is yellow.

 

Nemateleotris magnifica, the Fire Goby, Fire Fish, Fire Dartfish, or Red Fire Goby

IN THE WILD

Fire Dartfish are usually seen hovering over rubble or sandy areas of the reef. Usually they hover just above their burrow and as the name implies, they are quick to dart into their hole. They are usually seen singly or in pairs but occasionally four or five may be seen in a small group. They normally hover with their head in a slightly upright position facing into the current as can be seen in the images. The bright yellow dorsal fin appears to be used to signal each other and is often flicked up or down.

HABITAT

The Fire Dartfish is found across the Indian ocean and in the west Pacific. They are found between depths of 6-30 meters. More usually they are seen around 13 to 18 meters in depth.

Nemateleotris magnifica, the Fire Goby, Fire Fish, Fire Dartfish, or Red Fire Goby

 

DIET

The Fire Dartfish  feed mainly on zooplankton and as a result are mainly found in areas with a fair amount of current.

REPRODUCTION

During breeding pairs are formed and once the eggs have been laid the male carries the eggs in his mouth until they hatch. During this time the male cannot feed and towards the end of the incubation period the males become quite skinny making the protruding mouth more noticeable. This can result in cannibalism with the male eating some of the eggs.

Nemateleotris magnifica, the Fire Goby, Fire Fish, Fire Dartfish, or Red Fire Goby

 

AQUARIUMS

The Fire dartfish is a popular aquarium fish. They are reef safe and have plenty of personality. Their preferred habitat is a sandy or rubble area surrounded by rocks or coral with some current and it is best to recreate this for them. They prefer moderate lighting. Often they will attempt to jump out the tank and as a result it is best if the tank is covered. Because of their burrowing habit one can provide them with ready made burrows made out of quarter inch plastic piping strategically placed for them to discover. If one wishes to keep more than one it is best to buy a pair as individual fish may fight. It does not seem possible to sex them externally. They do well on a prepared diet of finely chopped and vitamin enriched crustaceans. Initially live brine shrimp can be used to entice them to eat.
Very little is known of their breeding habits other than they seem to form monogamous pairs.

Nemateleotris magnifica, the Fire Goby, Fire Fish, Fire Dartfish, or Red Fire Goby

 

FLAME DARTFISH  CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Microdesmidae
Genus: Nemateleotris
Species: N. magnifica

LITERATURE CITED

The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates
East and South Coasts of Southern Africa
Dennis King & Valda Fraser

 

EQUIPMENT USED

Canon 7D

Ikelite 7D Housing

Twin Ikelite DS 161 Strobes

Flat Ikelite Lens Port

Ikelite Dual Synch Cord 

Ikelite 5.1 inch Port body

 

 

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