Andy Deitsch's picture

Mating Mandarinfish

Mandarinfish stay hidden away beneath their coral rubble homes during the day but at dusk, they become active and mate. The male (the larger of the two) has a harem of females and mates once with each of them.

When the time is right, the pair rises just a few inches above the corals and simultaneously release eggs and sperm into the water column.

To capture this image, I had to wait for this pair to begin rising and then get low so that the background had no corals in it.

Nikon D850
105 · f/36 · 1/250s · ISO 800
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I love Mandarin. They were my favorites in my saltwater aquarium, beautiful and not "flighty". You've captured the colors very well!

Thanks, Robert! Back in the day, I had a reef aquarium and put a mandarin fish in there. It was eaten by a coral banded shrimp within 5 minutes. Expensive lesson!

Stunning image, Andy,

Thank you, William

Absolutely amazing!

Thanks so much

Great image. Sams Tours in Palau have them on the house reef and visible during the day. Great capture and colours.