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Filefish, Aiptasia eating (Acreichthys tomentosus)

Filefish, Aiptasia eating
Filefish, Aiptasia eating

Known as the aiptasia eating filefish, matted filefish, bristletail filefish or tomentosus filefish. This shy mottled green or brown fish only grow up to around 12cm long. Although aggressive to other filefish, they are peaceful fish, prefering habitats with plenty of swimming spaces close to grazing and hiding spots. Eating algae and small crustaceans, they will also devour small pest anemones such as Aiptasia.

Fun Facts...

To deter predators these fish can raise their first dorsal fin and/or grind their front teeth, producing a low-pitched growling sound.


Found in the Indo-West Pacific: East Africa to New South Wales.


Inhabits shallow coral reefs, seagrasses and rubble areas.

As the name suggests, their food of choice are pest anemones called aiptasias. They will also eat small crustaceans and molluscs

Not Evaluated

Filefish, Tassled (Chaetodermis penicilligerus)

Filefish, Tassled
Filefish, Tassled
This filefish is a relative of the triggerfish family, and sometimes referred to as prickly leatherjacket. Its is a medium sized fish, growing up to 31cm in length and is light brown in colour, with dark lines and blotches. Its body is compressed laterally and its head is large, compared to the rest of its body. It is covered in appendages, giving it its name and providing camouflage. 
Fun Facts... Their tail fin, dorsal fin and caudal fin are almost see through! This fish is diurnal.

Location... Distributed across the Indo-West Pacific: Malaysia to Japan and south to Australia.

Habitat... Lagoons, reefs and seagrass beds.

Algae and small invertebrates.

Not Evaluated

Fire fish, Indian Ocean (Nemateleotris magnifica)

Fire fish, Indian Ocean
Fire fish, Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean fire fish, also known as the fire goby, fire dartfish and magnificent dartfish, gets its names from its stunning colouration. It has a bold yellow head, which fades into white, which then turns a dramatic reddish-orange towards the rear. It is a small but long, slender fish, usually reaching a length of 9cm. The first dorsal spine is greatly elongated and may be as long as the fish itself. 

Fun Facts... This fish uses its long dorsal spine to lock the fish into a crevice, much like a triggerfish. 

It usually is found hovering over a burrow or bolt-hole, shaking its dorsal fin backwards and forwards.

Males of the species protect the eggs.

Location... Widespread in the Indo-Pacific: East Africa to Hawaii, Marguesan and Pitcairn islands, then north to the Ryukyu Islands and south to New Caledonia.

Habitat... Inhabits burrows in coral reefs in tropical waters, at depths of up to 60 metres.

Feeds on zooplankton

Least Concern

Firefish, Purple (Nemateleotris decora)

Firefish, Purple
Firefish, Purple
Purple firefish are a slender, colourful fish and have white bodies which darken towards the tail, purple faces and their fins are purple, red, black and orange. They are also known as the decorated firefish and fire goby. They reach about 9cm in length.

Fun Facts... Purple firefish are monogamous, which means they mate for life. When startled these fish will dart into holes and hide.

Location... Indo-Pacific; Mauritius to Samoa.

Habitat... Found over hard, open bottoms at the base of reefs and reef drop-offs.

Feed on zooplankton and crustacean larvae.

Not Evaluated

Flying fox fish (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus)

Flying fox fish
Commonly confused with the Siamese algae eater, this small freshwater fish will grow no larger than 15cm in length. Although small, it is a member of the carp family and has a long body with a flat stomach. It is olive to dark brown in colour, fading into a yellowish hue on the lower half of its body. It has a gold stripe from the head to the tail and its eye may appear red. 
Fun Facts... This fish migrates during the wet season, into floodplains or forested areas. It is though that humans may have disrupted these migratory patterns. 

Location... Found in rivers in the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Java and Sumatra.

Habitat... Inhabits rivers and hill streams over sandy or rocky substrates.

Omnivore - worms, insects, plant matter, algae.

Data Deficient

Frog, Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)

Frog, Golden Mantella
Frog, Golden Mantella
This is a small, stout frog of 19-24 mm in body length. It is yellow-orange to orange-red with black eyes. Golden Mantellas are diurnal and active on the ground. Their call consists of a short chirping sound. As this species is found in only one small area of swampy forest in eastern Madagascar, it is particularly vulnerable to habitat loss. 
Fun Facts... The Golden Mantella's bright colouration warns predators that they are toxic, which puts predators off eating them.

Location... Andranomena, eastern Madagascar

Habitat... Swamps and humid Pandanus forest

Small forest floor invertebrates

Critically Endangered

Frog, Green and black dart-poison (Dendrobates auratus)

Frog, Green and black dart-poison
Frog, Green and black dart-poison

The green and black dart-poison frog is a highly variable dart-poison frog. Whilst specimens from the Caribbean coast are usually green and black, those from the Pacific coast may be blue and black.

Females lay their eggs in the leaf-litter and when they hatch the male carries the tadpoles on his back and deposits them in small pools such as treeholes, rolled leaves or bromeliads where they develop, feeding on mosquito larvae and other tadpoles.

Maximum length is 25-40mm.

This species is not as toxic as the golden dart-poison frog and it does have predators.

Fun Facts...

Typical patterning is green with black spots.

The bright colours advertise that this frog is poisonous.

Specimens from the Pacific coast are often blue and black


Central America (southern Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) and northern S. America (extreme northwest Colombia).


Tropical rainforest.


Least Concern

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