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.