Ocellated Dragonet Fish
Category: Salt Water
Facts about the Ocellated Dragonet, it is a brightly colored carnivore that is popular in aquariums but hard to care for.
All in a Name
The scientific name of the Ocellated Dragonet is Synchiropus ocellatus. A less frequently used scientific name for the species is Neosynchiropus ocellatus.
The Ocellated Dragonet is sometimes called the Scooter Blenny and Scooter Dragonet. The name “Scooter” comes from their habit of scooting along the rock surface or sandy substrate on their fins. The Ocellated Dragonet are part of the Synchiropus genus and Callionymidae family.
The Ocellated Dragonet grow up to five inches long. The Ocellated Dragonets have large heads, a small pointed mouth, and large ventral fins. The Ocellated Dragonets have a diamond shaped pectoral fin. The Ocellated Dragonet fish have brown and tan coloring with a spotted or striped pattern. Ocellated Dragonet tend to have a starry black pattern with white spots. Males are more brightly colored than females, with more orange at the base of their dorsal fin. Males have a flag shaped dorsal fin females lack.
The Ocellated Dragonet fish rise to the surface to spawn. When these fish spawn their eggs, they form chains that float toward the surface of the water. In the wild, the Ocellated Dragonet release the eggs into a strong current before diving back into the sand.
Ocellated Dragonets mostly eat copepods in the wild. In captivity, Ocellated Dragonets will eat live and frozen foods, though they may be acclimated to eating fish flakes. They sift through sand for food and will still do this when given shredded meaty foods and vitamin enriched brine shrimp. Live brine is their ideal food. Ocellated Dragonets will eat the arthropods that live in the algae growing on the rocks. Ocellated Dragonets will starve to death if there is not enough food on the live rocks and refuse added food. If the fish may not be getting enough to eat, use a rigid aquarium tube to deliver food to them.
These Ocellated Dragonet fish will perch on rocks with their ventral fins. The Ocellated Dragonets like caves and hiding places.
These Ocellated Dragonet fish do not school but will form loose congregations. There can be more than one in a tank, but they do best when all introduced at the same time. The ideal ratio is two or three females per male.
These Ocellated Dragonet fish are peaceful with other fish, though they are sometimes aggressive to other dragonets. The Ocellated Dragonet should not be kept with larger, more aggressive marine species like lionfish.
These Ocellated Dragonet fish swim near the bottom of any reef. Ocellated Dragonets prefer to live in shallow tropical waters, the bottom of sandy lagoons or on rocky reefs. Ocellated Dragonets are found anywhere from one meter to thirty meters between the surface. Those kept in an aquarium need at least a 30 gallon tank for a single fish, 55 gallons or more if housing two or more fish. The tank should have a sandy bottom and lots of live rock.
Ocellated Dragonets tolerate water from 14 C to 29 C. The ideal temperature range is 24 C and 27 C or 72 F to 78 F. Ocellated Dragonets need the water hardness to be 8 to 12 dKH. The water pH should be 8.1 to 8.4.
This species is found from southern Japan to the Marquesas Islands. Ocellated Dragonets are found in Fiji, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands.
The species was identified by Pallas in 1770.