Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: East Africa to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Pitcairn islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia and the Austral Islands; throughout Micronesia. In Australia recorded from the North West Shelf region of Western Australia, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to at least Coffs Harbour, in New South Wales.
Frequents reef flats and outer reef slopes, where it retreats to holes in the substrate when threatened. Depth 6 to 70 m, usually shallower to 28 m.
Distinctive bright colouration, pale forebody blending to bright orange at the tail. A benthopelagic species (has neutral bouyancy allowing it to stay above the substrate with little or no effort), this species feeds on zooplankton, copepods and crustacean larvae in the water column. Usually seen in pairs, facing into the current. Often seen flicking long white first dorsal fin. Grows to 9 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.411.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=nemateleotris+magnifica. Accessed 09/06/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Nemateleotris-magnifica.html. Accessed 09/06/18.