Pegasus Fish

(Eurypegasus draconis)

With its elaborate wing-like pectoral fins it’s little wonder the Pegasus Fish is also known by the mythical names of Little Dragonfish or Seamoth. Its knobbly skin resembles pieces of shell and rubble, making it almost impossible to spot on the seafloor. If disturbed the fish prefers to ‘walk’ than swim, using its underside fins like legs. Males have a blue-white colour on the margin of their fins which they flash when agitated. The Pegasus Fish is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, and grows up to 10cms in length. Its body is encased in a bony armour, which it sheds in one piece. Millions of these unique fish are captured each year for traditional medicine in China and Hong Kong, earning them threatened status on the IUCN Red List.

The Pegasus Fish is like an aquatic Ned Kelly, its body encased in armour. But like Ned Kelly, this armour doesn’t protect it much. Millions are killed each year, for use in medicine.