Pair of MANDARINFISH or MANDARIN DRAGONET
© Jim Christensen
The Mandarinfish or Mandarin dragonet, is a small, brightly-colored member of the dragonet family. The common name of the Mandarinfish comes from its extremely vivid colouration, evoking the robes of an Imperial Chinese mandarin. The mandarinfish is native to the Pacific, ranging approximately from the Ryukyu Islands south to Australia.
To date, S. picturatus is one of only two animal species known to have blue colouring because of cellular pigment, the other is the closely related LSD or Psychedelic Dragonet. The name “cyanophore” was proposed for the blue chromatophores, or pigment-containing and light-reflecting cells. In all other known cases, the colour blue comes from thin-film interference from piles of flat, thin and reflecting purine crystals.