Friday, July 29, 2011

Mandarin Goby

On June 1, 2010, the Marshall Islands Postal Service issued a new stamp featuring the Mandarin Goby. Part of a family of fish known as dragonets, the spectacular Mandarin Goby, also known as the Mandarin fish, possesses a scale less body covered with an intricate pattern of many hues.
The Mandarin Goby, has the latin name is  Synchiropus splendidus, is a small, brightly-colored member of the dragonet family, which is popular in the saltwater aquarium trade. The mandarin fish is native to the Pacific, ranging approximately from the Ryukyu Islands south to Australia.In the Marshall Islands, where several species of Mandarin fish live, these attractive creatures inhabit the islands' plethora of shallow lagoons and inshore reefs.
The Mandarin Goby's name comes from its brilliantly vivid colours, evoking the robes of an Imperial Chinese mandarin. Its unique coloration makes this fish a very popular addition to private aquariums throughout the world, although its finicky eating habits can make it difficult to keep. It feeds primarily on small crustaceans and other invertebrates.
Mandarin Goby are reef dwellers, preferring sheltered lagoons and inshore reefs. While they are slow-moving and fairly common within their range, they are not easily seen due to their bottom-feeding habit and their small size (reaching only about 6 cm).

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