Helen’s Dartfish

(Ptereleotris helenae)

Ptereleotris helenae, commonly known as Helen’s dartfish, is a species of marine fish belonging to the family Microdesmidae. Here are some key characteristics and information about this species:

  1. Distribution: Helen’s dartfish is found in the Western Pacific Ocean, specifically in the waters around Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It inhabits coastal reefs and lagoons, often near sandy or rubble bottoms where it can find shelter.
  2. Appearance: This dartfish species has a slender and elongated body, typical of fish in the Microdesmidae family. It is characterized by a yellowish to golden body with a series of horizontal blue stripes running from the head to the tail. The dorsal fin is elongated and often moves in a darting motion, giving them their common name “dartfish.” They have large eyes positioned high on the head, which aid in spotting potential predators and prey.
  3. Size: Helen’s dartfish typically grows to a maximum length of about 10 cm (4 inches).
  4. Behavior: These fish are known for their skittish behavior and tendency to hide among coral branches or rock crevices, especially when startled. They feed primarily on zooplankton and small crustaceans that they pick from the water column.