Palau – 2013 – 5 dollars – Synchiropus splendidus (including box) (PROOF)
Metal Silver .925
Weight 25 g
Size 38.61 mm
The overwhelming species diversity of pacific reefs is increasingly threatened by overfishing and destruction of habitat. As a flagship species the fascinating, colourful mandarinfish can raise public awareness and support for marine conservation.
The mandarin fish reaches a size of only 8 cm in length and is therefore one of the smaller inhabitants of the tropical sea. With its pointed mouth it pecks for invertebrates and worms on inshore reefs and sandy lagoons, interspersed with rocks and corals. Oversized pelvic fins and the raised position of its eyes identify it as a bottom-dwelling species.
Despite its small size it is ornately coloured with deep blue stripes and spots on an orange, yellow or green background. The male is especially impressive with its elongated, pointed dorsal fin.
The flamboyant appearance of the mandarinfish predestines this charismatic species to represent the Marine Life Protection series in 2013.