Neon Dottyback

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Pseudochromis aldabraensis - Bauchot-Boutin, 1958
Neon Dottyback

A slinky, beautiful fish that can terrorize a smaller aquarium. Scott W. Michael


With electric-blue bars on a bright-orange body, this is a flamboyantly colored species with fascinating, slinky moves, but one that can be a hellion in the wrong aquarium venue.

Family: Pseudochromidae

Other common name(s):

  • Dutoiti Dottyback
  • Orange Dottyback
  • Arabian Bluelined Dottyback

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Provide numerous hiding places to help it acclimate more quickly and curb some of its aggressive tendencies. The Neon Dottyback has a cryptic nature and will slither or dash from one crevice to another. It will often be observed hovering at the entrance of a refuge, scanning its environment.

Maximum length: 8 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Near substrate.


Carnivore. Feed meaty foods at least once a day. It is not as prone to color loss as some of its fellow dottybacks.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Neon Dottyback is almost guaranteed to cause behavior problems in a smaller tank. Keep singly. It will pick on and even kill smaller fishes, especially those that live on or near the substrate. It is best housed with fish tankmates having similar tough dispositions (pygmy angels, hawkfishes, large damselfishes, surgeonfishes), or in a very large reef aquarium where space and numerous hiding places will diffuse the aggressive behavior. It may attack ornamental shrimps.


Demersal (on or near the bottom) spawners that tend and protect their broods.


Most individuals now offered to aquarists are captive-raised and will spawn in the home aquarium given the right conditions. (See Marine Breeder's Guide by Matthew Wittenrich (Microcosm).)

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM