Synchiropus picturatus (Peters, 1876).
Other Common Names:
Psychedelic Mandarinfish, Picture Dragonet.
2.8 inches (7 cm).
Characteristics & Compatibility:
Shy and peaceful. Ignores other fish species, but males will attack other males, and related S. splendidus
males. Best kept in a nonaggressive fish tank community. Exudes a noxious slime for protection against predation, but will be eaten by sea anemones. Males have an elongated dorsal fin.
Diet & Feeding:
Difficult to feed, and all too often this fish starves in newly set up aquariums due to the lack of a well established live sand food source present, primarily copepods and amphipods. Some of these fish will also consume the Acropora-Eating Flatworm and the Rust Brown Flatworm
. Will accept live brine shrimp and live black worms. With patience, coaxing and target feeding, vitamin-enriched frozen brine and mysis shrimp, and possibly other small sized food preparations for carnivores may be accepted. Does not do well with voracious food competitors.
May bury in the substrate at night or when threatened, therefore a soft sand bed is best. Provide with ample hiding places.
Suggested Minimum Tank Size:
20 Gallons (76 L).
Reef Tank Suitability:
This fish is often misidentified and referred to as a Blenny, but it is actually a member of the Dragonet family.
We have found that when being netted and removed from the water is when this fish most often releases the thick, noxious slime film that it releases for protection. Whenever possible, it is best to move this fish by catching it in a cup or container that is submerged in the water, keeping the fish wet at all times to help avoid this problem.