Synchiropus splendidus (But We Call Her Flutter).

One of my favorite reef-dwelling fish is Synchiropus splendidus–common name, Mandarin Dragonet.  Wherein lies the problem: unless you can train a mandarin dragonet to recognize “dead” foods, or you’re willing to pay $20 a week to buy live “Tigger pods” to repopulate your reef, the mandarin is likely to starve in captivity. Ironically, a seahorse tank provides the perfect environment for mandarin dragonets to flourish. Despite their vacuous expressions and generally peaceful tendencies, most mandarin dragonets are intelligent fish that can and will learn by observing others. Specifically, they watch the seahorses eat from feeding bowls and figure out that whatever is in the

Read more