Mandarinfish: Twice the Pretty

If you follow our blogs, you know we've extolled the remarkable beauty of the mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) before. Their scale-less skin swirls with patterns in blue, green, yellow and orange, and they never fail to draw exclamations of ooh! when visitors spot one in the Living Corals exhibit. Just look at this fish!

Some mandarinfish have darker hues, but all sport beautiful pattern of blues, oranges, greens and yellows.

Well, now this exhibit is twice as beautiful because there are currently two mandarinfish, or mandarin dragonet as they're sometimes called, in the exhibit now.

The red circles highlight the two fish. 

Mandarinfish can be a territorial species, so it can be tricky trying to maintain more than one at a time. In fact, we have tried to maintain two individuals in the tank before without much success. But these two seemed to have realized their differences and are ok with one another. Note how they are keeping their distance.

Can you spot the mandarinfish? Small fish with some powerful pretty

Besides territoriality, mandarinfish are also very finicky eaters. They slowly and methodically pick over the reef and gravel looking for small live foods such as copopods and amphipods. Look for the fish hovering using their front fins while looking for food. Fortunately, our aquarists are skilled at providing these fish the food and care they need.

A singular beauty: The mandarinfish cannot be confused with any other fish

So on your next visit to the Aquarium, indulge in a good, long look at the Living Corals exhibit if you can. See if you can spot both of the mandarinfish amid the bobbing Banggai cardinalfish, dashing clownfish, corals and anemones.

The mandarinfish is also a regular on our social media outlets. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram for your daily dose of awesome ocean animals!

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