Friday, July 15, 2011

Mandarinfish

Synchiropus splendidus
If the picture didn't tip you off, the Mandarinfish is a very bright and colorful little species found in the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Australia. They come in a spectacular blue color, with lines of yellow, orange, and red.

They are small in size, not growing much larger than a few inches. Males are a tad bit larger than the females. Mandarinfish live in relatively shallow reef and lagoon areas, and though they are quite common, they are difficult to see based on that small size and the fact that they tend to hang out near the reef bottoms. They feed there on tiny worms, snails, and fish eggs.

Mandarinfish breed and grow amazingly fast. Eggs incubate for only 12 hours! Juveniles start to resemble adults after two weeks and they reach full size and coloration during their second month. A female will spawn only once a night, but can spawn multiple nights a week, laying up to 200 eggs each time.

These pretty little fish have become popular among aquarists, but they are considered relatively difficult to keep. The reason for this is that they prefer to eat live food, so a supply of these creatures is required for successful raising.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Pacific Ocean
Size : Body Length up to 2.5in (6cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order: Perciformes
Family : Callionymidae -- Genus : Synchiropus -- Species : S. splendidus

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