Elegant dartfish
  • Nemateleotris decora
  • English Name : Elegant dartfish
  • Local Name : Fari dhidha funna
  • Size : Max. 6 cm
  • Family : MICRODESMIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: First dorsal fin with 6 spines. Second dorsal fin with 1 spine and 27-32 rays. Anal fin with 1 spine and 28-31 rays. Pectoral fin with 20-21 - - rays. Body depth 4.8-5.7 in standard length. Front of first dorsal fin elongated. Caudal fin emarginate.
  • Colour: Body whitish, shading to deep purple posteriorly. Head whitish except lips, snout, and a broad median dorsal band which are violet. Prolonged anterior part of first dorsal fin orange-red, the leading edge magenta. Median fins coloured like body basally, then mainly orange-red with magenta bands.
  • Habitat and Biology: Found on the reef slope, hovering above burrows, usually at depths between 25-70 m. Does not stay far from its burrow in to which it quickly darts when frightened. May be seen solitary or in pairs. Feeds on zooplankton, especially copepods and crustacean larvae.
  • Distribution: Maldives to Western Pacific.
  • Remarks: Nemateleotris decora is one of the most remarkably coloured dart fishes in the Maldives. The superb colouration of this fish makes it a popular aquarium fish.