The mandarinfish produces a thick mucous that covers its body. This mucous smells bad and tastes bitter. Scientists believe that this secretion could ward off potential predators. The bright colors of this fish could also give warning of its toxicity. These features may not have served this purpose until after the Fall of man since before the Fall all animals were vegetarian.


  • The mandaranfish is distinguished by its bright colors and unusual shape.
  • Its body is primarily blue with orange, red, and yellow wavy lines.

Fun Facts

  • The mandarinfish does not have scales; instead it produces a stinky mucous that covers its body.
  • This fish is also called the mandarin dragonet.
  • Mating between mandarinfish involves a ritualized dance.
  • This is a very popular aquarium fish exported from the Philippines.

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-like fishes)
FAMILY: Callionymidae (dragonets)
GENUS/SPECIES: Synchiropus splendidus

Size: Up to 2.4 in (6 cm)
Depth: Found at depths up to 60 ft (18 m)
Habitat: Western Pacific tropical waters of the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Guinea, and the Ryukyu Islands in coral reefs and shallow lagoons