Latin name Ptereleotris monoptera - Randall & Hoese, 1985
Common name Lyre-tail dart-goby
Family Microdesmidae - Ptereleotris
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Central/West Pacific
Max length 12.0 cm (4.7")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 100 l (26 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Docile


  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)

Jumps out of open aquaria

This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.

Dart holes

This fish requires holes for hiding.
It is incapable of digging its own holes, so the reef keeper must provide sufficient hiding places.

3/4" PVC is ideal for these holes which should lead to a bigger chamber.
It is best if such a chamber has multiple exits.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

Likes to hide at first

These fish may well hide themselves for a while, whilst getting acclimatized.

Do not disturb the fish while acclimating because it will prolong the process.

Any number of specimens

This species can function in large numbers down to just one.


This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

Best as a pair

This species thrives best in a pair. (Male and female)

Family description (Microdesmidae)

Dartfish (Microdesmidae) are recognized by their unique torpedo like shape. All Dartfish need hiding places where they can withdraw to when feeling threatened. They do not normally naturally dig their own holes, but use ones made by other creatures.

They are generally a popular aquarium fish, relatively easy to keep, so for a small tank with peaceful fish the Dartfish is the obvious choice.

They can easily feel threatened by larger more aggressive fish with the result that they cannot feed enough and die by lack of food. One has therefore a greater chance of success when they are kept with smaller, peaceful, fish.

After first introducing a Dartfish, it is advizable to dim the light, so it can get used to the tank in peace.


Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Seychelles and Chagos Islands to the western Pacific.
English common names Lyre-tail dart-goby, Monofin dartfish

References and further reading

About references

Henry C. Schultz. 2003. Worms Not Found in the Sandbed: The Genus Ptereleotris - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)

Daniel Pomfret. 2008. Let’s Play Darts! Marine Dartfish - Tropical Fish Hobbyist - (English)
Bob Fenner. Firefishes, Dartfishes, Wormfishes, Family Microdesmidae, Subfamily Ptereleotrinae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).


shoal group, docile shy, pair couple
Just a moment...
Just a moment...