Navigobius asayake is the newest species of dartfish discovered to get an official species description. Once known only from pictures taken by SCUBA divers, the Navigobius genus was erected only in 2009 and has expanded rapidly to include four very distinct and attractive species.
So far all the species of Navigobius have been found in the West Pacific or Southeast Asia with Navigobius asayake being collected in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Some species of Navigobius are only encountered at significant depth but N. ayasake is odd – the holotype was collected at 150 meters (nearly 500 feet) while the paratypes were caught at the reasonable depth of just 20 meters (65 feet) at one location.
Like other dartfish and especially its congeners, the ‘Sunrise Dartfish’ as it is also called, only grows to just 54 mm or barely two inches long. What it lacks in size it makes up in exquisite coloration that ranges from pink in the head to silver in the body, with purple and yellow stripes on the face and markings in the fins and a reddish purple tail. [ZooTaxa]