mandarinfish #3 [157K]

Another characteristic of this member of the dragonet family is the small crescent-shaped gill opening with small holes, visible here just above and to the rear of the small spine-like "preopercular process" (see the Australian Museum's fish site for a fish diagram-- also see mandarin view #5 for another view) . This small fin structure is just visible, casting a long black shadow just behind a vertical column of yellow spots.

Identification: Synchiropus splendidus

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