Like something out of a fantasy movie, the Dragonets of the Callyonimidae family are some of the most interesting fish available to reef hobbyists in terms of both appearance and behaviour. Their show-stopping colouration and cryptic patterning are completely unique, indeed these ‘little dragons’ are perhaps even more outlandish in their appearance than their mythical namesakes. On the downside, they can be challenging to maintain over the long term even in well-planned systems.
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Dactylopus genus – this genus has 2 species that are rarely encountered in the ornamental trade. They grow to a moderate size and inhabit mud flats or sandy bottoms, including estuaries, in nature. Overall they do not make good community fish instead requiring a specialised system to prodvide for their requirements.
Synchiropus genus – with 44 species, this genus containing several subjects of interests for the aquarist indeed a handful have attained iconic status for their flambouyant attire and peaceful demeanor. Growing to just several cm in most cases, these dragonets are best kept singly or in known pairs unless the tank is very large as males, often identifiable by their extended dorals spine, will fight to the death. Species of interest are all shallow water fishes that favour sandy, rubble environments with coral and/or algal cover.
Neosynchiropus genus – info coming soon.