Ryan Photographic - Pegasidae - Sea moths


Invertebrates
Chordates
Photo Library
Search

Family Pegasidae

According to FishBase there are 6 species of sea moths in 2 genera. The family is named after Pegasus, a horse of Greek mythology.

Sea moths possess a long rostrum (the pointy bit at the front) and a ventral mouth which they use to great effect to suck small invertebrates from their burrow. Not surprisingly, in view of their benthic lifestyle, they lack a swim bladder. They are encased in bony armor which they shed on a regular basis. They use their huge pectoral fins to walk along the bottom. Spawning apparently occurs at the surface so presumably eggs and larvae drift with the current.

Sea moths could be at risk from seafloor trawling and (you guessed it) their use in Chinese traditional "medicine" (what is it about the Chinese that they still think that ground up animals and ground up animal body parts have a medicinal function?)

I was lucky enough to see the individuals below during a dive trip to the Raja Ampat Islands. They were more difficult to photograph than I anticipated, contiuuously turning their head away from me whenever I lined up a shot. But wonderful little creatures and well worth the effort.

 

Eurypegasus draconis Dragon Sea Moth

Eurypegasus draconis Dragon Sea Moth Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

Fish 8166 Eurypegasus draconis Dragon Sea Moth Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

Eurypegasus draconis Dragon Sea Moth Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 8158 Eurypegasus draconis Dragon Sea Moth Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

sea moth

FISH 8157 Eurypegasus draconis Dragon Sea Moth Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

 

[Previous]

Fishes

[Next]

 

[Up]

 Photo Library

[Home]  Home Page
[Contents]  Dr Paddy Ryan Contents
[Contact]  Contact Paddy

 

Ryan Photographic, 2802 East 132nd Circle, Thornton, CO  80241  USA  Phone 303-457-9795