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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A rare species (Ref. 4264) collected from muddy and sandy bottoms of estuaries and bays. Known to 'walk' over the bottom using its tentacular pelvic fins. Juveniles expatriate to tropical regions; adults mainly found in muddy estuaries where they pair. Sometimes they are seen partly buried but also feed during the day. Sometimes found floating on the surface (Ref. 48635).
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Distribution

Range Description

P. volitans occurs throughout the Indo-West Pacific: Delagoa Bay, Mozambique to Saudi Arabia (Persian Gulf) and throughout Gulf of Manaar to Bay of Bengal; along the east coast of Myanmar; north to Japan, south to tropical Australia and Papua New Guinea (Froese and Pauly 2009).

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Indo-West Pacific.
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Indo-West Pacific: Delagoa Bay, Mozambique to Saudi Arabia (Persian Gulf) and throughout Gulf of Manaar to Bay of Bengal; along the east coast of Myanmar; north to Japan, south to tropical Australia (Ref. 1418) and Papua New Guinea (Ref. 6192).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 5; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 5; Vertebrae: 21
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Size

Maximum size: 180 mm TL
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Max. size

18.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 559))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Collected from muddy and sandy bottoms; usually at depths between 9 and 27 m. Known to `walk' over the bottom using its tentacular pelvic fins.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Body light brown or olive to dark brown-black dorsally and laterally, lighter ventrally. Tubercles absent on surface of carapace; no scales on orbit; distal margin of dorsal and anal fins perpendicular to horizontal axis of body. 4 pairs of dorsolateral body plates; 5 pairs of ventrolateral body plates; tail rings 12, anteriormost 9 mobile, last 3 fused; a lateral pair of posteriorly directed spines on terminal tail rings; suborbital shelf convex obscuring eye from ventral view; deep pits absent. Rostrum monomorphic and spatulate.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

P. volitans is reported to reach a maximum of 180 mm (Palsson and Pietsch 1989) and inhabits muddy and sandy bottoms where they are often found in association with prawns (Conlu 1986). They are usually found between 2–30 m depth, but have also been found on the surface and at a depth of 73 m (Palsson and Pietsch 1989).


Systems
  • Marine
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Depth: 1 - 73m.
From 1 to 73 meters.

Habitat: demersal. A rare species (Ref. 4264) collected from muddy and sandy bottoms of estuaries and bays. Known to 'walk' over the bottom using its tentacular pelvic fins.
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Environment

demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 73 m (Ref. 11441), usually 9 - 27 m (Ref. 1418)
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Depth range based on 90 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 13 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 9.2 - 67
  Temperature range (°C): 24.309 - 27.590
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.129 - 2.763
  Salinity (PPS): 34.202 - 35.483
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.302 - 4.763
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.078 - 0.269
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.600 - 4.953

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 9.2 - 67

Temperature range (°C): 24.309 - 27.590

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.129 - 2.763

Salinity (PPS): 34.202 - 35.483

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.302 - 4.763

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.078 - 0.269

Silicate (umol/l): 0.600 - 4.953
 
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Trophic Strategy

Found on the continental shelf. Benthic species (Ref. 75154). Collected from muddy and sandy bottoms of estuaries and bays (Ref. 9137).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pegasus volitans

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGCTGATTTTTTTCGACCAACCATAAAGATATCGGCACCCTCTACCTAATCTTTGGTGCATGAGCAGGAATAGTAGGAACAGCCCTA---AGCCTGCTAATCCGAGCCGAACTGAGCCAACCAGGAGCCCTGCTGGGAGAC---GACCAGATTTATAATGTTATCGTCACTGCACATGCTTTCGTTATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCCATTATGATTGGAGGATTTGGCAACTGGCTAATCCCTCTAATG---ATTGGAGCCCCTGACATGGCTTTTCCCCGAATGAACAACATGAGCTTTTGACTCTTACCTCCTTCTTTCCTTCTTCTCCTGGCCTCATCCGGAGTTGAAGCCGGAGCAGGTACAGGCTGAACAGTCTACCCCCCGCTAGCAGGAAATCTGGCGCACGCCGGAGCCTCGGTAGATCTA---ACCATTTTCTCACTCCACTTAGCAGGAATCTCATCGATTTTAGGAGCCATTAACTTTATTACCACAATTATTAACATGAAACCCCCCGCTATTTCACAATACCAAACACCCTTATTTGTTTGGTCAGTCCTTATTACTGCCGTCCTGCTCCTACTCTCCCTACCAGTACTAGCCGCA---GGGATTACAATACTACTAACAGACCGCAACCTCAATACTACATTTTTTGACCCAGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCCATCCTTTATCAACACCTATTCTGATTCTTCGGCCACCCTGAAGTATACATTTTAATTCTACCCGGATTTGGCATAATTTCACACATTGTAGCCTACTATGCAGGTAAAAAA---GAACCTTTCGGGTATATGGGTATGGTGTGAGCAATAATAGCAATCGGCCTCCTAGGATTTATTGTTTGAGCTCATCACATGTTTACTGTCGGAATAGACGTTGACACACGTGCCTACTTCACATCCGCCACAATAATTATTGCCATTCCTACAGGGGTAAAAGTATTTAGCTGATTA---GCCACTCTTCACGGAGGA---TCAATTAAGTGAGAAACACCAATGCTTTGAGCCCTAGGCTTTATTTTCTTGTTTACAGTCGGAGGCCTAACAGGAATTGTTCTCGCGAATTCTTCTCTAGACATTGTTCTGCACGACACTTACTACGTCGTAGCCCACTTCCACTACGTT---CTCTCCATAGGAGCCGTATTTGCCATCATAGCAGGGTTCGTTCATTGATTCCCACTATTTACAGGCTATACACTTCACAGCGTTTGAACAAAGCTCCATTTTGGAGTTATGTTTGTAGGAGTTAACCTCACATTCTTCCCACAACATTTTCTCGGCCTAGCAGGAATGCCTCGT---CGATACTCAGACTACCCTGATGCGTATGCC---TTATGAAATCTAGTCTCATCCGCAGGCTCATTAGTATCCCTTGTTGCTGTAATCATATTCCTATTTATCGTTTGAGAAGCATTCGCAGCCAAACGAGAAGTG---GCAATAGTTGAACTAACCACAACCAAC
-- end --

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pegasus volitans

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Sorensen, M. & Vincent, A.

Reviewer/s
Curtis, J. & O’Donnell, K.

Contributor/s

Justification

P. volitans has been listed as Data Deficient because there is no population or fisheries information available to make an assessment. More study is needed to determine changes in population numbers. A listing of Data Deficient does not imply that the species is not threatened, but instead that not enough information exists to estimate extinction risk. P. volitans may be susceptible to increased fishing pressure for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as other economically important target species, including seahorses, decline. This could result in more fishers collecting sea moths to supplement their income (Vincent 1997). P. volitans also occurs at low densities (Pajaro et al. 2004) and possesses life history characteristics that may make it particularly sensitive to exploitation (Vincent 1997). The application of Data Deficient is a call for more research and scrutiny to be directed at this species.


History
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
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Population

Population
The lack of data for population sizes of pegasids such as P. volitans that was highlighted by Vincent (1997) still exists. One study recorded P. volitans in low densities (Smith 1986).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Sea moths may possess characteristics that make them unsuited to heavy exploitation, such as low population densities and established long-term pair bonds of one male and one female that mate repeatedly (Kuiter 1985, Herold and Clark 1993).

Sea moth species began appearing in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the 1980s, and are now traded by several South East Asian countries, including southern China and Hong Kong, although the scale and impact of the trade remains unclear (Lourie et al.1999, Vincent 1997).

P. volitans is caught incidentally in illegal trawl gear in the Philippines and is sold for use in TCM (Pajaro et al. 2004). Approximately 130,000–620,000 P. volitans were landed in north-western Bohol, central Visayas region of the Philippines in 1996, with an additional ~42,000–62,000 caught for the live aquarium trade (Pajaro et al. 2004).

Total bycatch in the Philippines was significantly female biased, with only 36% males (Pajaro et al. 2004). Given the reported monogamy amongst sea moths (Herold and Clark 1993) this could reduce the proportion of paired males thereby reducing the effective population size.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
P. volitans may be found in some Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines as well as Australia. No other conservation measures are known.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Longtail seamoth

The longtail seamoth, Pegasus volitans. is a species of fish in the Pegasidae family. It is found in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Tanzania, and Thailand.

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