Synchiropus splendidus can be found in tropical regions of the world, mainly in the southwest Pacific Ocean (Oceana 2012). They live in areas around the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Guinea, and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan to Australia (Aquatic Community 2008, Patel 2006).Other species that inhabit in this area include the Bargibant's seahorse, the great seahorse, the bullethead parrotfish and the devil firefish. This species resides within epipelagic zone of the ocean (0-200 meters) at a max depth of 18 meters and are not found in open waters. The fish requires warm temperatures around 24°C to 26°C which is found in these regions (Fish Base 2011, Patel 2006). Since it requires a need for warmer temperatures, the mandarinfish does much of its feeding and traveling during daylight hours. If you wish to learn more about the mandarinfish's feeding patterns and other interactions, go to the interactions page.

Habitat of the Mandarinfish. Photo Credit: Fish Base

 Synchiropus splendidus lives in sheltered inshore lagoons and shallow reefs (Aquatic Community 2008). As you can see in the photo below, they are primarily bottom dwellers who enjoy hiding under dead coral and rubble on silty seabeds (Aquatic Community 2008, Oceana 2012). Since they live on the ocean floor, they are a difficult species for divers to locate.  

Mandarinfish hiding in coral. Source: Pilar 2006

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