Mandarin Fish, (Synchiropus splendidus), are found in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia. I found these colorful jewels of the sea in the Northern Sulawesi diver’s paradise of Bunaken and the Lembeh Strait. These small fish (1 to 2 inches) are strikingly beautiful with their body designs of squiggles, swirls, dots, and stripes in bright colors of orange, green, blue, and yellow. Their name comes from the resemblance to the robes of Imperial Chinese officers known as mandarin. These beautiful fish are members of the dragonete family. Mandarin fish are dimorphic, which means they can accomplish the sexual and reproductive traits of either, if they lack mates of the opposite sex. The males typically have more orange color on their faces, and larger bodies, while the females have smaller dorsal fins. Even with their distinctive markings, mandarin fish are very difficult to locate in their native habitat.
I am a nature, wildlife and underwater photographer. I love to travel and capture the story.
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