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Species Profile: Splendid Dottyback

I would like to welcome back Melissa Leiter, One of our staff Marine Biologists here at That Fish Place. Melissa has a species profile for one of the thousands of fish here in our fish room.

Welcome Melissa,

The Splendid dottyback, Pseudochromis splendens, is a spectacular fish with its bluish gray stripped body and brilliant yellow tail. They tend to be bullies or down right nasty if they are housed with smaller docile fish. They do best if kept with other larger semi-aggressive fish in a large tank, or kept by themselves in a smaller tank. They definitely don’t need “friends” to be happy.

Something cool about dottybacks in general, including the splendid dottyback, is that they are all hermaphrodites meaning theoretically if you add 2 of the same species you should get a male female pair as long as they don’t kill each in the process of deciding dominance. Splendid dottybacks adjust to captive life very well, and in fact, are one of the few marine fish species that have been succesfully raised in captivity. Splendid Dottybacks will accept many foods including mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, formula 1, formula 2, even flakes and pellets. They are far from “picky” eaters.

They may also hunt down and eat those annoying bristle worms and flat worms to keep those populations under control. So if you are looking for a small hard headed fish that has the attitude of an angry trigger from time to time then the splendid dottyback is the fish for you!


Thanks Melissa, Psuedochromis are one of my favorite types of marine fish. They have alot of attitude in a little package, and are alot of fun to keep.

Until next blog,



  1. avatar

    Hi Melissa,
    Do you happen to know when mating who goes into the tube sponge first, the mail or female?
    Ken Hares

  2. avatar

    Hello Ken, Dottybacks don’t need and don’t always use tube sponges for breeding. They may lay their eggs in any sheltered structure. There is no set order in which they may enter their structure.

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