So pretty, and yet so stinky. The mandarinfish uses poison and a foul odor to keep predators away. I swear I know some humans like this, but that’s a different story for a different day.
Although its beautiful appearance may entice you to reach out and touch it, don’t. They are covered in tiny spines that inject toxic mucus into anyone who tries to handle or eat them. Let’s not be too harsh though. They need this stinky goo to protect themselves as they have no scales. This doesn’t scare off their main predators who lie in wait for them to swim by – scorpionfish and lionfish.
While most blue-hued creatures display their iridescence through structural colouration, the mandarinfish handles this differently. This fish produces blue pigmented cyanophores which create a vibrant shimmering effect through light reflecting cells. The colourful light they reflect warns other marine life of their toxic nature.
Females group together at the local reef at sunset to find their man. The bigger and stronger the male, the more attractive he is to the female. Males can reproduce with multiple females in one night. They attach at the pelvic fin and swim to the top of the reef where they release eggs and sperm in a cloud. And then they part ways.
Due to their exotic beauty, they are prized by aquarium owners all over the world. We are the biggest threat to their continued existence.
Tidbit of Awesomeness – Mandarinfish are fussy eaters. They study their food closely before taking a bite. They eat slowly feeding mainly on worms, small snails, fish eggs and copepods.
Are you projecting fierce independence? Is it possible that you may be coming on a bit strong? People are attracted to you and want to get to know you but having your guard up like this may push more people away than you realize. You are a beautiful soul with love to give. Find ways to crack that barrier down a bit and allow others to find out who you really are.
Alternatively, are you allowing people in too close, too easily? You may need to protect yourself more. If you’re an open book and trust too easily, you may get hurt. Find a balance that will protect you and your emotions. This doesn’t mean pushing people away. Learn how to be discerning and trust your instinct. You will know who is out to hurt you and who just wants to get to know you better.