These fish live in shallow depths, between 50 cm and 20 m, in coral reefs, sea grass and mangroves. The youngest of them (measuring up to 15 mm) live in groups of around 10, often hidden between the spines of a hatpin urchin or in sea anemones. The adults live in couples, nearby the coral where they take shelter.
They are active at night and feed on plankton, as well as on the larvae of fish and crustaceans.
During the mating season, the female courts the male by continuously swimming all around him. The male fertilizes her eggs, which it then broods in its mouth.
At that point, he stops feeding. After 25 days of oral incubation, the eggs hatch. Out of concern for his spawn, the male releases the young fish in the midst of hatpin urchin spines, where they can take refuge.
The artist on stage