Spot Tail Dartfish-Facts and Photographs

The Spot Tail Dartfish, Ptereleotris heteroptera, is also known as the Blacktail Dartfish, Indigo Dartfish, Blue Gudgeon Dartfish and Blacktail Goby. They are relatively shy fish and as their name suggests are quick to dart into their burrows.

APPEARANCE

The Spot Tail Dartfish has a tubular shaped body which tapers backwards. Their dorsal fin is set far back and the anal fin extends forwards quite far. The body is a sky blue color and there is a bright  blue iridescent line behind the eye and around the eye.  In Tanzanian specimens the caudal fin is often transparent with a spot in the middle of the fin whereas in other areas the caudal fin is yellow.

Spot Tail Dartfish, Ptereleotris heteroptera, is also known as the Blacktail Dartfish, Indigo Dartfish and Blacktail Goby.

SPOT TAIL DARTFISH IN THE WILD

Spot Tail Dartfish are usually seen hovering a meter or so above rubble or sandy areas of the reef. They are mainly seen in pairs but occasionally they may be seen in a small group of pairs.  Normally they hover a meter or so above the substrate and dart upwards to feed on passing planktonic matter. Juveniles are seen in very large groups on shallow protected reefs in summer. Once the fish reach three to four centimeters in length these groups break up. They are very shy and are difficult to photograph well.

HABITAT

The Spot Tail Dartfish is found across the Indian ocean and in the west Pacific. They are found between depths of 8-50 meters. More usually they are seen around 15 to 18 meters in depth. They prefer rubble and sand to the reef.

Spot Tail Dartfish, Ptereleotris heteroptera, is also known as the Blacktail Dartfish, Indigo Dartfish and Blacktail Goby.

DIET

The Spot Tail Dartfish feed 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.

REPRODUCTION

Monogamous pairs are formed but very little seems known of their breeding habits. 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.

Spot Tail Dartfish, Ptereleotris heteroptera, is also known as the Blacktail Dartfish, Indigo Dartfish and Blacktail Goby.

AQUARIUMS

The Spot Tail Dartfish is a fairly 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. They are best with non aggressive fish. Aggressive fish will cause them to hide.

SPOT TAIL DARTFISH CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gobiiformes
Family: Gobiidae
Genus: Ptereleotris
Species: heteroptera

LITERATURE CITED

EQUIPMENT USED

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