2013 Fan Favorite

Mating Mandarin Dragonets


MIAMI- June 11, 2013 -- As part of the 2013 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, followers on Facebook were able to vote on the Fan Favorite for the second year in a row. This year’s winner is a pair of mating Mandarinfish, or Mandarin dragonets (Synchiropus splendidus) photographed in Puerto Galera, Philippines by Italian amateur photographer Pietro Cremone.

Mandarin dragonets have beautiful blue, orange and yellow coloration, and can be found in shallow waters and rocky coral bottoms in the Indo-Pacific. Their diet consists of small copepods, other invertebrates and even fish eggs. The male is larger than the female Mandarinfish, often warding off other males using its spiked dorsal fin during courtship. These fish mate at dusk, at which time thousands of the female’s eggs are fertilized with the male’s sperm and released into the water column for dispersion.

To view all of the winners of this year’s contest, visit

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

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