Wormfishes are a family, Microdesmidae, of goby-like fishes in the order Perciformes.

They are found in shallow tropical waters, both marine and brackish, often burrowing in estuarine mud. They are small fishes, the largest species reaching only about 12 cm in length.

Genera and species

The family formerly included five genera of dartfishes in the subfamily Ptereleotrinae, but this inclusion made the family polyphyletic and these fishes are now grouped in their own family, Ptereleotridae.

FishBase lists 27 species in five genera:


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