Species group: Dragonets
Other common names: Ruby Red Dragonet, Moyer’s Dragonet
Scientific name: Synchiropus moyeri
The Red Wine Scooter Dragonet’s brilliant coloration and amusing way of scuttling about makes it hard to resist. Sadly, mast hobbyists cannot provide the near-constant supply of copepods and other tiny live foods that it requires.
The Red Wine Scooter Dragonet is native to the Western Pacific Ocean, where it inhabits coral rubble fields near reefs and sea grass beds.
Appearance / health:
The 7.5 cm (3 in) body is fire-engine red to scarlet in color, while the flag-like dorsal fin is yellow with black bars.
Red Wine Scooter Dragonets are slow, deliberate live-food specialists that will starve if housed with bolder, fast-moving species. All Dragonets become subject to stress-related illnesses if not provided with numerous hiding places.
Behavior / temperament:
Red Wine Scooter Dragonets are very active, scuttling over the bottom in their continual search for food. They can be kept in groups if provided enough room and cover, and stocked at a ratio of 2-3 females per male.
This delicate beauty is best kept in an aquarium that is stocked with rock/coral caves, live sand, and live rock. The tank should be well-established (i.e. 8-12 months old) before Dragonets are added, so that large populations of the tiny invertebrates they feed-upon will be present.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained for Red Wine Scooter Dragonets: Temperature: 22-28 C (72-82 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.
In addition to the tiny invertebrates breeding in live sand and rock, the diet should include a variety of live foods such as enriched (pre-fed) brine shrimp, chopped blackworms and glassworms, and copepods. Red Wine Scooter Dragonets will not thrive unless provided near-constant access to food.
Pairs will only breed when well fed (often fighting otherwise). The eggs are released at night as the pair swims towards the surface. The minute fry are difficult to rear unless continually supplied with live rotifers, wild-caught plankton, and similar foods.
Written by Frank Indiviglio