Synchiropus moyeri – Moyer’s Dragonet
Synchiropus moyeri was described in 1985 by Zaiser & Fricke. Their common name is Moyer’s Dragonet.
The genus name Synchiropus is made up of three ancient Greek words. Syn comes from symphyis which means grown together. Cheir means hand and pous means foot. The generic name Moyeri is a reference to dr. Jack T. Moyer.
Synonym: Neosynchiropus moyeri.
This species remains relatively small. They can reach a total length of around 7.5 centimeters. The coloration is quite variable. They can have a lot of reds with yellow in the fins and around the eyes. Other variations have more white and less red.
The males can be distinguished from the females by the dorsal fin. With the male, the front dorsal fin is much larger than the female’s.
You can find Moyer’s Dragonet in the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the North coast of Australia. They inhabit the reef slopes along the coast. You can see them swimming above sand and debris near coral reefs where they can hide. Usually they stay at depths of around 3 to 30 meters. Normally they form small loose groups where one male forms a territory in which you can find a number of females.
In the wild Synchiropus moyeri feeds on small organisms in the sand. This way they also eat some algae. It is therefore an omnivore that requires a varied diet.
In the aquarium it is a difficult eater who can hardly get used to food. Therefore, only place them in an aquarium that has been running for at least a year. This way some small organisms have time to grow in your aquarium. After they have been placed in the aquarium you will have to feed them regularly with live food. Make sure that the food actually ends up with them to prevent them from starving. You can feed them with tweezers some mysis or artemia. Only with enhough patience they will eventually get used to frozen and perhaps even dry food like flakes or granules.
Synchiropus moyeri Aquarium
Synchiropus moyeri is a peacefull and somewhat shy species that needs many hiding places between rocks and corals. Preferably do not place them together with busy and aggressive roommates. They do not grow very large and they are not active swimmers, but they do need rocks and corals to get food.
You can best keep this species solitary or as a couple. A harem is also possible in a large aquarium. Under no circumstances place two males in the aquarium. Males form a territory and fight with each other until only one remains.
This species is not suitable for beginners. They are even harder to keep than the Mandarinfish.
John de Lange