Sighting, stories, reviews, and experiences from the diving and snorkeling volunteers with TRACC.

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26.5.16

Creature Feature - Mating Mandarin Fish

Photo by Basil Bohn 
Three bright and iridescent mandarin fish play ring around the rosy in the playground of the TRACC crate reef. These three apparently painted ladies gather each night in a pre-spawning mating ritual in which they display their gleaming blue and orange patterns to a potential mate. Coyly they circle between the holes and loops created by the crates and flutter their fins in a rapid and flirtatious manner.

This ritual is preformed each evening in the fading light of the setting sun. Three to five females will gather in the same place to wait for the male to arrive.  If the male arrives and is large enough to please the ladies, a pair will join together, bellies touching, dorsal fins a-fluttering, and circle upwards to release their sperm and eggs in a tango of a spawning dance.


Shy of bright light, and shy of open spaces, the crevices and holes in the crate reef, give us eager divers a perfect viewing platform. A chance to see the prettiest of fish preform the prettiest of mating rituals and view the ocean stage from the comfort of the house reef and house seats. 

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Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
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