Nemateleotris helfrichi

From RTAW Reefpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
See Talk:Nemateleotris helfrichi for individual experiences with this species, Nemateleotris helfrichi. Feel free to add your own personal experiences.

Common Name
Helfrichs' Firefish
Binomial Name
Nemateleotris helfrichi
Nemateleotris helfrichi 2 .JPG
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Ptereleotridae
Genus: Nemateleotris
Species: helfrichi

Common Names

  • Helfrichs' Firefish
  • Helfrichs' Firegoby
  • Helfrichs' Dartfish



Long bullet shaped goby, with a regularly flicking dorsal fin. The type form is a dusky pink lavender anteriorly, fusing to lemon in the tail. The fish has a bright yellow face with a hot pink swatch on its head.

Similar Species

2 other firefish species: N. magnifica and N. decora. N. helfrichi can be distinguished from these by its colouring. It is also the smallest of the three species and has a much shorter dorasl fin than N. magnifica.

Maximum Size

6cm [1]

Associated Organisms

Anything that lives in symbiosis, parasitic or opportunistically with it.


An endearing community fish that minds its own business, the firefish sleeps at night in a bolthole in liverock. During the day they are continually on display in a peaceful tank and hover in midwater, waiting to snatch nearby food. When alarmed they will instantly retreat to the liverock. Note: they are a skittish fish if kept with aggressive tankmates.

Captive Care

Tank Size

50L minimum. They need room to hover vertically above the LR / rubble.

Water Flow



Moderate lighting is preferred as this is a deepwater fish [2]. Once accustomed to captivity will tolerate more intense lighting.


Feeds on zooplankton in the wild and will accept frozen substitutes & frozen home made mix. May also accept dry food.


They are known jumpers.





Can be kept as individuals or pairs only. There is anecdotal evidence that an incompatible pair may fight resulting in serious injury to the submissive fish. May be shy if kept with bold fish e.g. dottybacks and some wrasses[3].


Compatible with all corals.


Compatible with all invertebrates.


Unknown. Anecdotal evidence where a pair laid eggs is given here:

Local Ecology


Pacific Ocean [1]


These are deepwater fish that are seldom found under 40m [1] and are usually found in monogamous pairs [1][3].

Additional Information

Some additional notes on it that don't fit in the above sections.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ( Froese, R., Pauly, D. Fish Base, World Wide Web electronic publication, 2008, Retrieved: February 2009,
  2. ( Delbeek, J.C., Fishes Suitable for the Invertebrate Aquarium, ATOLL, (2), 1989.
  3. 3.0 3.1 ( Michael, S.W., Deepwater Reef Fish Communities: Part 2: A Survey of Deep Reef Fishes, Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine, 4(9), 2005.