Exquisite firefish, Nemateleotris exquisita

A new species of firefish, the Exquisite firefish, Nemateleotris exquisita has been scientifically described. The new species is very similar to the purple firefish but with an to me even more intense coloring. It also grows larger that the purple firefish. The body of the Exquisite firefish is lined with purple and red. There is however no description that could make this little gem justice so it is better that you just take a look at the picture above. I welcome everyone to try to formulate a good description that captures the essence of this stunning fish and post it as a comment below.

Hybrid between the exquisite and the purple firefish

Hybrid between the exquisite and the purple firefish

The new species hails from Mauritius, Kwazulu-Natal,the Red Sea as well as the the Thai coast of the Andaman Sea, and the Andaman Islands. It was described from specimens that had been collected in rather deep water around Mauritius, Kwazulu-Natal and in the Red Sea. The new species is known to breed and spawn hybrids with the purple firefix. This is a relatively common occurrence in the wild. (in comparison to other hybrids).

This species might already have been imported as Purple firefish but there is no way to know for sure at this time. The fish that is being imported as purple firefish will in the future most likely be divided into a number of different species.

To me it seems certain that we soon will see this species in the trade imported from the Maldives and perhaps also the Red Sea. It will likely be a little bit more expensive than the purple firefish due to its initial rarity and due to them being harder to catch than the purple firefish since they live in deeper water.

Keeping the Exquisite firefish in aquarium

Basic info

  • Family: Gobiidae
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Temperature: 72-78° F
  • dKH: 8-12
  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • sg: 1.020-1.025

The Exquisite firefish, Nemateleotris exquisita can be kept in the aquarium in much the same way as the purple firefish and if you successfully kept purple firefish you should not have any problems keeping the Exquisite firefish. There are however a couple of things to remember. The Exquisite firefish grows larger than the purple firefish and will therefor need a larger tank. A 10 gallon tank could most likely work but we recommend giving it at least a 20 gallon tank so it has more space to roam around.

It is important that you provide the Exquisite firefish with enough suitable sized caves that they can retreat to when they feel threatened. It is a reef safe species and can be kept with mos other calm reef species. Avoid keeping them with very aggressive species.


In the wild at 220 ft / 68 m deep

If you want to know more about this species i recommend that you the report that described the species:
Nemateleotris exquisita, a new microdesmid fish from the Indian Ocean

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