Mandarin Fish

One of the prime sights in this part of the underwater world are mandarin fish. They are brightly coloured, about two inches long and only appear at dusk. We enter the water as it starts to get dark to go in search of these small wonders.

They are easy to find, their bright zig zag patterns standing out against the beige broken corals. They are shy so we have to be patient to take photos.

Raja Ampat

The females are larger than the males and, get this, they mate with numerous males every day at dusk. We find one female that has three males in her entourage. We wait and before long the female and one of the males are side by side drifting up off the coral into the water column. They do not drift too far up, break apart and the female picks another male. Fascinating!

Raja Ampat
Female mating with one of her males

We spend an hour in one spot first watching one female and her mates and then watching another group. We were the last group to get out of the water as we were enthralled with these small mandarin fish.

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