mandarinfish #1 [155K]

A legendary fish among both divers and aquarists, this beautiful mandarinfish, or mandarin dragonet, is a member of the dragonet family
(Callionymidae), which consists of around 125 species. The name mandarinfish is said to be derived from the brightly colored, silk Mandarin Chinese robes of the 19th century. They resemble blennies or gobies, and are often called mandarin gobies for that reason, though gobies and blennies are not in the same family of fish.  Though fairly common and slow-moving, they are difficult to spot, since they are small, shy, and bottom-dwelling. Mandarinfish have large, brilliantly-colored fins, and are usually found searching for small crustaceans or other invertebrates on the cluttered reef bottom or on coral heads. They may grow to about 2.4  inches (6 cm), and are found in much of the western Indo-Pacific, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, and New Guinea.

Identification: Synchiropus splendidus

back to Gallery I


more info on dragonets and mandarinfish from Fishbase