Synchiropus splendidus (Mandarinfish)


Orange body with an exquisite pattern of green and blue banding and spots, yellow markings on the lower head and large, oval fins. The first dorsal fin ray is longer than the others. They are often in small groups of several females and at least one male, among broken staghorn coral.


Unassessed by the IUCN Red list. An uncommon, but much sought-after species that is a favorite subject of underwater photographers. They are also very popular among aquarium holders, although they do not always adapt well to an aquarium.


Western Pacific; from Southwest Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Micronesia, New Caledonia and Australia. They prefer broken staghorn coral rubble of sheltered coastal reefs and lagoons, in a depth range of 0-18 meters.


Spawning occurs every day at dusk, when the sunlight faintly shimmers on the water surface. Both the larger males and the smaller females dash out quickly, belly to belly, release their eggs and sperm, and then seek shelter again between the coral. This goes on until the sunlight disappears.


Up to 6cm.

Prey / Predation

They feed on diet that consists of copepods, worms, amphipods and fish eggs. They spend all daytime to feed in an area of several square meters.

Special features

This is one of the most colorful fish I have ever seen and is well worth the wait for that one good picture!