Fun Firefish Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 29, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Firefish facts are amazing
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica) is a species of fish that can be found in the Pacific and Indian oceans. They are omnivorous by nature. They can be kept as pets, but giving them vitamin-rich food is necessary to keep them healthy and fit. Firefish care does not require much attention. The purple firefish has the most unique body-color among the three species of firefish. Some of the common names of this marine species are fire dartfish, firefish goby, or fire goby. They are known as dartfish because of their darting nature, that is, they will dart into a hiding place to safeguard themselves or even dart out of an aquarium or tank if the lids are not properly closed. The fire goby uses its dorsal fin to alert others of approaching threats. They are magnificent to look at and are kept as pets in many households for this reason. These marine creatures particularly live in reef environments and can go as deep as  20-230 ft (6.09-70m) underwater. The exquisite firefish has a long slender body and is monogamous by nature.

If you are fascinated by firefish, then you may want to read the following amazing facts about them. If you want to learn more about different animals, you can read up on black bullheads and needlefish.

Firefish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a firefish?

The firefish is a species of fish, that is known for its unique body color.

What class of animal does a firefish belong to?

The firefish belongs to the Actinopterygii class of animals.

How many firefish are there in the world?

The exact population of this species of fish is unknown. However, they can be found in many households, where they are kept as a pet. They can also be found in their natural habitat, which includes the waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Where does a firefish live?

The habitat of this marine species generally includes the waters of the Indian and the Pacific ocean, the eastern coast of Africa, the northern Australian islands, and the Ryuku Islands.

What is a firefish's habitat?

Firefish can be found in saltwater habitats, particularly in reef environments, containing sand patches. This species of fish is also kept as a pet in many households.

Who do firefish live with?

Firefish are monogamous by nature, that is the pairs mate for life and can also be found traveling together. Often, they can be seen in groups of a significant number of individuals.

How long does a firefish live?

The average lifespan of a firefish ranges from three to four years.

How do they reproduce?

Firefish are monogamous, though not much information is available on the reproduction process of this species of fish. However, according to several estimates, there is a striking similarity between the reproduction process of the firefish and the species of goby fish. The males generally instigate courtships and tempt the female to join them in a breeding ground. Once there, the female will lay its eggs of firefish fry, which in turn will be fertilized by the males.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the firefish is listed as of Least Concern, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Firefish Fun Facts

What do firefish look like?

Firefish are omnivores.

Found in the reefs, the firefish, also known as firefish goby, is a beautiful species of fish with a long, slender body. It has mainly three different colors present throughout its body, which are yellow, white, and red. Its face is yellow in color, followed by its front half and rear half, which are white and red in color, respectively. Its dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are black in color. It also possesses a swim bladder, which is an internal gas-filled organ. The purple firefish, which is subspecies of the firefish goby, has a unique body color of pale lavender.

How cute are they?

This species of fish is extremely cute and beautiful to look at. With their slender body and unique body color, they make the most amazing pets one can have.

How do they communicate?

The exquisite firefish, also known as firefish goby, make use of their dorsal fins to communicate with each other. They are timid creatures and seek a hiding place whenever they encounter any form of threat. It uses its dorsal fin to alert others of any approaching danger.

How big is a firefish?

Found in the reef environment, the firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica) commonly known as firefish goby, are long slender creatures. The average size of an adult firefish ranges from 2-3 in (5.08-7.6cm). They are longer in size than the least killifish.

How fast can a firefish swim?

The swimming speed of this species of dartfish is unknown. There is, however, one unique thing about their movement, which is their darting nature. They display the darting behavior to escape from potential predators and hide in a secure place. They are very active and will jump out of an aquarium if the lid is not properly shut.

How much does a firefish weigh?

The weight of this species of exquisite firefish is known to be extremely negligible.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Males are called male firefish and females are called female firefish.

What would you call a baby firefish?

A baby firefish is called a fry.

What do they eat?

Firefish are omnivorous by nature, unlike the firefish peacock cichlid. The firefish diet generally includes food like algae, zooplankton, and shrimps. Regularly feeding them vitamin-rich food is highly recommended if one wishes to keep them as a pet.

Are they aggressive?

Although this species of fish generally do not display any aggressive habits or tendencies of aggression towards other species of fish, they may not do so with their own kind. They may indulge in violence to establish dominance over each other. For this reason, one should keep only one firefish per tank. However, mated pairs are known to live peacefully without any sign of aggression.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, a firefish, also known as firefish goby, would make an excellent pet. They are extremely obedient by nature and beautiful to look at. The firefish goby care does not need much attention. It is not aggressive in general but might display such habit towards its own kind or other similar-sized species. Vitamin-rich food is necessary to keep them fit and healthy. However, one should always remember to keep the lid of their aquarium tightly closed, because of their darting nature. When in fright, they may jump out of the aquarium to save themselves. They are extremely timid and find any bright-colored aquarium uncomfortable to stay in. Filling the aquarium with sand is also highly recommended because in the wild, many firefish dart into the sand to save themselves.

Did you know...

The firefish, more frequently known as firefish goby, have unique body colors, ranging from pale lavender to orangish-red. This species of fish has a body color that is not found in any other known species of fish.

The saltwater firefish can be kept in tanks or an aquarium along with tankmates, like the clownfish or shrimp gobies. They do not do well when kept with the same species and tend to indulge in violence.

The firefish price may range from $10-20 and they need to have a minimum tank size of 20 gal (91 L).

A unique behavior in this marine species of dartfish is that when they get bullied by other large-sized species, they tend to stop eating which eventually leads to their death. Therefore, keeping the firefish with other large-sized fish may not yield a good result.

When a firefish is first introduced to a tank or aquarium, it may hide in some gap or dark place within the tank, unless it gets familiarized with its new environment, this may last for two or three days. Once it gets comfortable with the change of environment, it will automatically come out of hiding.

Differentiating between the male and female firefish is a hard task. There is no established prominent characteristic that will help to differentiate between the two sexes.

The dragon blood firefish is considered a hybrid, according to several estimates.

How many species of firefish are there?

There are three commonly found species of firefish, namely, the common or red firefish or orange firefish (N. magnifica), the purple firefish, also called the elegant firefish (N. decora), and Helfrich firefish (N. helfrichi). As the name suggests, the elegant firefish is considered to be the most beautiful among the two other species. One of its most striking features is its body color, which is pale lavender. It can be found in Southern Japan and Polynesia.

How firefish communicate with each other?

Firefish, commonly known as firefish goby, communicate with each other with the help of their dorsal fins. They are timid creatures, so they tend to get scared easily and dart away to safeguard themselves from any possible threat. They use their dorsal fins to alert others of any approaching danger.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including clownfish and black neon tetra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our goldfish coloring pages.

Firefish Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Algae, zooplankton, small invertebrates

What Type of Animal were they?

Plants and Meat

Average Litter Size?

3000-6000 demersal eggs each spawn

How Much Did They Weigh?


What habitat Do they Live In?

reef environment

Where Do They Live?

pacific and indian ocean

How Long Were They?

2-3 in (5.08-7.6cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Nemateleotris magnifica

What Do They Look Like?

Purple, orange, red

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

lionfish and large angelfish

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >