Comet (Calloplesiops altivelis): Some Intriguing Facts


Comet, also known as the Marine Betta, is a tropical fish that lives in reefs near the Indo-Pacific Ocean. It usually stays between 3 and 50 meters deep.

Adult comet fish like to hang out near reefs, caves, and cliffs underwater. They are active at night and hide during the day under rocks or in holes.

To confuse predators, they have a fake eye on their dorsal fin which looks like an upside-down fish.

When scared, this fish hides its head in a hole and shows off its tail to mimic a moray eel’s head.

The male comet fish guard the eggs when they have babies.

Some people have even been able to raise them in home aquariums with one person reported having one for over eight years.

Comet fish are safe for reef aquariums.

Comet Interesting Facts

  • Comets live in reefs near the Indo-Pacific Ocean, between 3 to 50 meters deep.
  • They have a fake eye on their dorsal fin to confuse predators and mimic a moray eel when scared.
  • Adult comets are nocturnal and can grow up to 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) long.
  • Males guard the eggs, and some people have successfully raised them in home aquariums.

Comet Habitat

Comet is found in the Indo-Pacific region. Its habitat ranges from the Red Sea and East Africa to Tonga and the Line Islands.

This fish is typically found in marine environments near reefs at depths of 3 to 50 meters (usually 3 to 45 meters).

It thrives in tropical waters between 32°N and 24°S latitudes.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Comet Physical Characteristics

Size: 7.9 inches (20.0 centimeters)

Comet can grow up to a maximum length of 7.9 inches (20.0 centimeters) and can live up to 9 years.

It has 11 dorsal spines, 8 to 10 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 9 anal soft rays. Its body depth is about 2.5 to 2.7 times its length.

This fish has scales that form a tube-like structure along its lateral line. The dorsal and anal fins are raised at the back end, while the tail fin is round.

The false eye on its dorsal fin looks like an upside-down fish image, which confuses predators.

When scared, the comet hides its head in a hole and shows off its tail that resembles a moray eel’s head.

Its color is brownish-black with small blue spots all over; vertical and pelvic fins have a dark orange-brown color with blue spots as well.

The last three dorsal rays have a black circle surrounded by blue rings.

There are also yellow spots near the base of the upper tail rays, and its pectoral rays are bright yellow while the fin membrane is transparent.

Comet Reproduction

Male comet fish display parental instincts by guarding their eggs.

Comet Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Calloplesiops altivelis
Also Known As:Comet, Marine Beta
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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