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. Firefish are not actually gobies and are in the Pteroleotridae family.

Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the fire goby or Red Fire Dartfish

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 seen singly or in pairs but occasionally four or five may be seen in a small group but this is rare. 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.

Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the fire goby or Red Fire Dartfish

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. They hover above their burrow facing into the current and wait for zooplankton to come to them. They make quick darting movements to grab passing titbits. Gut analysis has revealed that they feed mainly on copepods in the wild.

Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the fire goby or Red Fire Dartfish

REPRODUCTION

During breeding pairs are formed but very little seems known of their breeding habits other than they seem to form monogamous pairs. Some accounts have them keeping the eggs in the burrow tended by the males and others have them close to the burrow tended by both male and female.

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. They have relatively small guts and need to be fed twice daily. Some care needs to be taken with their tank mates as they are not aggressive feeders and larger more aggressive feeders will out compete them.

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

Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the fire goby or Red Fire Dartfish

Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the fire goby or Red Fire Dartfish

LITERATURE CITED

Fire Dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica also known as the Fire Goby or Red Fire Dartfish

EQUIPMENT USED

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