Synchiropus splendidus Mandarin Fish
Class: Actinopterygii Order: Callionymiformes Family: Callionymidae Genus: Synchiropus. Size: to 6 cm
Synchiropus splendidus, the mandarinfish or mandarin dragonet, is a small, brightly colored member of the dragonet family. Orange with ornate pattern of dark-edged green and blue bands and spots
Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Micronesia and New Caledonia.
Mandarin fish is one of only two vertebrate species known to have blue colouring because of cellular pigment, the other being the closely related psychedelic mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus).
Spawning occurs on areas of the reef where small groups of males and females gather during the night. Mating occurs when the male and the female release sperm and eggs after they align themselves and rise about a meter above the reef. Each female spawns only once each night and may go without spawning for a few days.
The dorsal fin, which is exceptionally tall in males, has a striking orange-and blue design as well. The eyes are usually red with black pupils.
Mandarinfish are reef dwellers, preferring sheltered lagoons and inshore reefs. While they are slow-moving and fairly common within their range, they are not easily seen due to their bottom-feeding habit and their small size (reaching only about 6 cm). They feed primarily on small crustaceans and other invertebrates.
Mandarin fish secrete mucous which might act to repel predators. The intense coloration also might play a role in avoiding predation by signalling to potential predators that they are toxic.