Synchiropus splendidus Herre, 1927, Bungau, Philippines.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
Total length about 3.1 in (8 cm). Sexually dimorphic; males larger than females and have larger dorsal fins. Small, somewhat elongated body lacks scales but has well-developed lateral line. Two dorsal fins, first with 4 spines and second with 8 dorsal rays. There are 6–8 soft rays on the anal fin. The preopercle has strong spine, but no spines present on operculum or suboperculum. Body coloration of vivid green or blue markings on ground color of orange, or rarely red.
Western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean from the Philippines and Indonesia (Java), east to Pohnpei (Micronesia) and New Caledonia, south to northwestern Australia (Rowley Shoals) and to the southern Great Barrier Reef, and north to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan. May also occur in Tonga.
Coral reefs on inshore reefs and in protected lagoons. Micro
mainly coral heads, silty rubble, and even leaf litter. Ranges in depth 3.3–59 ft (1–18 m).
Generally solitary and cryptic within a home range. Emerges to feed during early morning, just before dusk, or in cloudy weather. Social interactions are relatively few and usually not aggressive.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds upon small benthic invertebrates.
Gonochoristic and polygynous, with a single male mating with more than one female daily. Courtship and spawning occurs during short period at dusk throughout most of the year. Females move to one or more specific areas before the onset of courtship. Males also move to and between these areas seeking females to court. Larger males dominate smaller males and prevent them from courting with females. Males use elaborate fin displays and circle females repeatedly during courtship. More than one bout of courtship may be necessary before a female is ready to spawn. Then, the pair rises slowly into the water column to spawn and fertilize a small batch (12–205) of pelagic eggs. After spawning, female returns to her home area to sleep, and male moves on to attempt to court and spawn with other females. Reported to have been bred in captivity. Larvae are pelagic.
Not listed by the IUCN. May be vulnerable or threatened by overfishing, destructive fishing (including the use of cyanide), and destruction of
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Important and highly prized aquarium fish harvested mainly in Southeast Asia and imported to the United States as part of the aquarium trade.
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