Fire Dartfish

Family, Genus, Class & Etymology

Family    Microdesmidae
Description    Wormfishes
Environment    Fresh, Brackish & Marine
Etymology    Greek, mikros = small + Greek, desmos = bond
Genus    12
No. of Species    86
Order    Perciformes
Class    Actinopterygii
Reproductive Guild    Guarders
Distribution    Tropical seas, rarely in brackish and freshwater. Body elongated to anguilliform, strongly compressed. Tip of tongue not lobed. Scales cycloid, small, and embedded in body. Eyes lateral. Caudal fin separate or confluent with dorsal and anal fins. To 30 cm maximum length. Inhabits shallow waters: coral reefs to muddy estuaries and tidepools; often burrowing in sand and mud; hover above the substrate to feed on zooplankton. Eggs are deposited in the burrows and presumably guarded by the parents; larvae are pelagic. Dartfishes are hardy in the aquarium, unless caught with poison.