The pseudo-legendary Navigobius dewa weaved its way into the hearts of rare fish lovers alike back in 2009 when it was described, with its scintillating, almost alien-techno-raver-laser pink and purple coloration. Since then, very few pieces have entered the trade, and many photos of the species available online are of wild specimens by local japanese photographers. A handful of pieces have entered the japanese market, but so far most were small semi translucent juveniles that looked nothing like what we’ve seen online.
N. dewa is a deepwater Ptereleotrine endemic to Southern Japan, and belongs to a monotypic genus. The type specimen was collected from Kagoshima Bay. Its behaviour is similar to various other dart fishes, such as P. grammica. In the wild, Navigobius can be seen hovering above the substrate either singularly, in pairs, or at times even in groups; a behaviour often seen in other Ptereleotrine fishes.
Despite its propensity for deepwater, often being found in depths exceeding 200ft, Navigobius is a shy and delicate fish. Like P. grammica, N. dewa spooks easily and will not tolerate brightly lit aquariums with heavy traffic. They require round the clock care and provision of suitable set ups such as a dimly lit, sparsely stocked aquarium with numerous hiding places and a fine substrate.
A few days ago, Koji Wada of BlueHarbor shipped a trio of Navigobius dewa to Iwarna Aquafarm of Singapore. This is the first time this species has debuted outside the japanese market. The fish retails for close to SGD 2,000 a pair, a hefty price to pay for a dart fish. With the right set up and care however, N. dewa would make for a most spectacular addition, especially in a species specific set up with other small deepwater japanese gobies.
** The species in this post has been identified as Navigobius cf. dewa, a similar but morphologically different species from the type N. dewa. For a full update, refer to this article here.