• Beautiful Dartfish

Latin name

Ptereleotris kallista

Other names

Ptereleotris kallista


The name comes from a Greek word meaning 'most beautiful'. It has 26 vertebrae. This species is characterised by the following features: pectoral rays 23 or 24; cycloid scales extremely small, about 190 almost vertical rows in the longitudinal direction; gill crests 7-8 + 16-17; body depth 6.6-6.65 cm; head length 4.65-4.7 cm; chin has a low middle fleshy protuberance tapering to a thin curved ridge behind.  

Features of fish fins

Dorsal spines (total): 7; Dorsal soft rays (total): 27; Anal spines: 1; anal soft rays: 25. First dorsal fin about twice as high as second. Second to sixth spines filiform, doubling the height of the fin; fourth spine longest, 1.95-2 mm.05 inches in diameter; caudal fin asymmetrically rounded, dorsal half larger than posterior half, 5.05-5.1 inches in diameter; pelvic fins 3.95-4.1 inches in diameter.

Fish colouring

Colouration preserved in alcohol, pale grey, with dark stripes on head and a small square blackish spot behind on anterior dorsal and anal fins, faintly striped, only on first dorsal at base of anal fin with blackish underbelly; caudal fin with broad black arc over three-quarters of middle fin; in life body colour mostly white; sides of head blue-yellow. 


Western Pacific: Philippines.


A marine, reef associated, tropical species.


Maximum length: 7.0 cm for males/sexless and 8.4 cm for females.


They will jump out of an unprotected aquarium if their nightly rest is disturbed.

Food and feeding habits

Amphipods, Copepods, Daphnia salina, Invertebrates, Krill, Mysis, Zoobenthos, Zooplankton.


They will not reproduce in aquarium conditions.


They are caught for the aquarium trade.

Relationship with a person

Not dangerous to humans. Popular aquarium fish.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Microdesmidae
Genus Ptereleotris
Species Ptereleotris kallista
Conservation status Data deficient
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 8,4
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Not edible
Way of eating Planktonophage

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Beautiful Dartfish

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