VIDEO: Mandarin Dragonet Breeding in Monaco

27 Nov, 2019

Exactly how big is a baby Mandarin Dragonet (Synchiropus splendidus)? A new video from the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco will give you a sense of scale!

Exactly how big is a baby Mandarin Dragonet (Synchiropus splendidus)? A new video from the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco will give you a sense of scale!

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (Musée océanographique de Monaco) has been busy breeding marine aquarium fishes behind the scenes. A fascinating and well-done short new French-language clip offers a quick glimpse into one of their projects.

Whether you can understand the narrative or not, the payoff in this video is a tank full of extremely small, beautiful green post-settlement Green Mandarin Dragonets, Synchiropus splendidus. Once a pipe dream, breeding the pelagic spawning dragonets no longer represents the challenge it once was. In the last decade, improvements in larval feeds and nutrition, along with a deeper understanding of marine fish larviculture, has seen the rise of commercial-scale production of S. splendidus, along with past production of the Target Mandarin, S. picturatus.

Captive-bred mandarins represent a complete shift in the husbandry of these often difficult-to-keep fishes; while they are still slow, methodical, bottom-picking substrate feeders, captive-bred mandarins will arrive eating inanimate pellet feeds when properly weaned during the early rearing phases. Dragonet breeding is a challenging project that the dedicated home aquarist can take on, and with only Synchiropus splendidus in active commercial cultivation at the moment, there is an opportunity for several other species (including the less-seen Red Mandarin) to be produced as captive-bred offerings.

Perhaps this footage from the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco will serve as the inspiration. Watch it and then browse our past coverage of Mandarin breeding, which goes back as far as 2006!

Watch “Les Coulisses du Musée : Reproduction du Poisson Mandarin” now:

Additional Reading:

CORAL Magazine Table of Contents Dec 2005/Jan 2006

Metamorphosis Happens: A Mandarinfish Work in Progress

Breeding the Green Mandarin

Breeding the Spotted Mandarin

When do Spotted Mandarins Get Their Spots?

Spotted Mandarins Graduate to Nano-Reef

Miniature Mandarin Beer Mug Diner

CORAL Magazine Table of Contents Nov/Dec 2011

CORAL Magazine Table of Contents Jan/Feb 2013



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About the author

Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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