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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Mandarinfish Synchiropus splendidus

With its yellow and orange body and distinctive green and blue markings, the mandarinfish is one of the most colorful of all reef fish. Its skin is covered with a distasteful slime and its bright colors warn predators not to touch it. Small groups live inshore on silt-covered seabeds among coral and rubble. Most members of the dragonet family (Callionymidae), to which it belongs, are colored to match their surroundings. It is a popular aquarium fish but is very difficult to maintain.

Mandarinfishzoom image
  • Order Perciformes
  • Length Up to 2 in (6 cm)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth 3–60 ft (1–18 m)
  • Distribution Tropical waters of southwestern Pacific
Mandarinfish habitat mapzoom image