IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Biology

Spotted handfish spawn during September and October (3), the male enticing the female by his courtship display (5). Compared to many other fish, the female produces a relatively small number of eggs; around 80 to 250 eggs are spawned and these are often positioned around the base of a sea squirt (a jelly-like invertebrate) (3). The female guards the eggs for seven to eight weeks until the fully-formed juveniles hatch. These tiny young measure a mere six to seven millimetres and when they emerge, move straight to the bottom of the seabed, instead of dispersing (3). These fish feed by sucking in prey items (5), including shrimps, small fish and small crustaceans such as amphipods (3).

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Source: ARKive

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