The body of this species is shiny silver, darkening to an olive along the back. It is marked by two narrow stripes; one extending along the length of the body from the gill cover to the root of the tail, the other edges the body along the base of the anal fin. The fins are hyaline.
The pectoral fins are well developed into wing like appendages, which enable the fish to skim the water surface and virtually ‘take off’ on a short flight. When viewed from the side, the belly is exceedingly deep, yet head-on they’re very thin creatures. Adults attain a length of 2.25 inch.
Hatchet fish aren’t bottom feeders, but they’ll accept food floating on or near the surface. They’re carnivorous, and should not be given dried foods.
Even though interesting small creatures, they don’t live very long and, to the very best knowledge of the author, have not been bred successfully in aquaria.