Dragonets

One of the highlights of fish watching is to find a dragonet. Dragonets are small bony fishes which live between corals or in the sand. They are found in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate oceans. Many divers really enjoy observing and photographing the mandarin fish, one of the prettiest dragonets, and reef fishes in general. The Australian painted stinkfish is another species of dragonet. Fishbase lists a total of 191 species.

Here are all the shots I took over the years of all kinds of dragonets (and which I considered worth posting!). Please click on the image to see the whole album on Flickr.
Dragonets

I also made a video, showcasing the unusual locomotion by some sand-living dragonets. They don’t like to swim – it costs more energy than crawling. Plus, I suspect that they are just closer to their prey, tiny invertebrates, when they crawl over the sand. So when they move across the sand slowly, they usually just use the spines of their pectoral fins, almost like fingers. When they swim, the pectoral fins (now transformed into crawling appendages) aren’t of much use anymore, and so they mainly use the pelvic fins for swimming.

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