We go down together with the sun at the Lighthouse dive site in Malapascua. The perfect time to spot the mating mandarinfish. As soon as we arrive at 10 metres and start hovering above the reef, which mainly exists of hard corals, our guide directly points to something just above the corals.
It takes me a few seconds concentrating before I realise two mandarinfish are there already! I just didn’t expect to see it that soon. Many photos are taken, from a safe distance to not disturb the fish, when the two fish swim around each other and then come up again above the corals doing their mating like a dance.
It’s a wonderful event in the just not completely dark ocean! Not much later we switch on our torches and continue our dive. We follow the reef and spot some morays, cuttlefish, an octopus, shrimps, and crabs.
It’s a nice night dive but the pairing mandarinfish was the highlight and makes it for me a dive to never forget! Sea-horses can be seen here too.
The Author: Ellis Derkx is a PADI MSDT who has been teaching in the Maldives.