Seamoths & sand eels
Comprising the Pegasidae family, seamoths are certainly interesting fish. Formally named after the great winged stallions 0f Greek mythology, members of the family are also commonly referred to as seamoths or dragonfish. Their flattened bodies project enlarged wing-like fins.
Ancient relatives of seahorses and pipefishes, seamoths dwell on the sea floor. They feed on small invertebrates living in the mud or sand. Seamoths have been described as monogamous, but unlike seahorses are broadcast spawners, meaning that they release sperm and eggs into the water column.
These fish range through the Indo-Pacific. Caught in large numbers as bycatch in fisheries targeting other species, seamoths are also harvested for the aquarium trade. Very little is known about them, but some are suspected to be threatened as a result of exploitation.
The Hypoptychidae, or sand eels, are a small family of fish native to temperate East Asia. The family includes two genera, both containing a single species. They exhibit male care of eggs with alternative mating strategies. Larger males guard eggs while some smaller 'sneaker males' cheat by encroaching on the larger males' territory.
|Photo||Scientific Name||Common Name||IUCN Red List Status||Profile||Range|
|LC||Indian & Pacific Oceans|
|Hawaiian sea-moth fish||LC||Hawaiian Islands|
|Sculptured seamoth||LC||S. Australia|
|Brick seamoth||DD||Indo-West Pacific|
Osterhage, Pogonoski, Appleyard & White, 2016
|Longtail seamoth||DD||Indo-West Pacific|
Hypoptychidae (Sand Eels)
IUCN Red List key
EW=Extinct in the Wild
(Click here for a full explanation of IUCN Red List categories.)
A note on 'Data Deficient' species: Species that are assessed as Data Deficient are deemed to have insufficient information known about them to carry out a proper conservation assessment. Although such species are not assessed as threatened, we may find out that they in fact are, once enough data is obtained.
Banner image of leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques) by Gaetano Gargiulo/Guylian Seahorses of the World