An Interesting Bunch

The species within the remit of the IUCN SPS Specialist Group certainly are interesting! From tiny pygmy seahorses and vertically-standing razorfish to 15-spined sticklebacks and pipefishes that look like seagrass, this diverse bunch is full of characters. Get to know some of these quirky creatures better by checking out the profiles below!

Bargibant’s Pygmy Seahorse
Hippocampus bargibanti

The pygmy seahorses are among the smallest of the seahorses, their adult size being not much larger than a person’s pinky fingernail.

Species Profile:

icon_iseahorse logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl

Body Size: 2.5 cm

Distribution: Indo-Pacific

Habitat: Gorgonian corals
(Muricella spp.).

IUCN Status: Data Deficient

 hockey-card-bargibants-pygmy-seahorse

Little Dragonfish
Eurypegasus draconis

The seamoths are often known as dragonfish although they are much smaller than the dragons featured in fantasy. They have wing-like fins and bony plates that are sometimes moulted.

Species Profile:

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Body Size: 10 cm

Distribution: Indo-Pacific

Habitat: Bays and estuaries.

IUCN Status: Data Deficient

hockey-card-little-dragonfish
Photo: Hans Hillewaert (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ornate Ghost Pipefish
Solenostomus paradoxus

Ghost pipefish differ from pipefish in that females carry the eggs to birth rather than the males. This species is particularly well-camouflaged, and not often seen although common.

Species Profile:

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Body Size: 12 cm

Distribution: Indo-Pacific

Habitat: Coral and rocky reefs

IUCN Status:  Not Evaluated

 hockey-card-ornate-ghost-pipefish
Photo: Hans Hillewaert/Wikimedia Commons

Alligator Pipefish
Syngnathoides biaculeatus

Alligator pipefish have a modified pipefish body form that is ribbbon-like. The species can often be seen hanging out vertically in order to blend in with seagrass.

Species Profile:

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Body Size: 29 cm

Distribution: Indian Ocean

Habitat: Seagrass

IUCN Status: Data Deficient

hockey-card-alligator-pipefish

Leafy Seadragon
Phycodurus eques

Covered with leaf-like protrusions that act as camouflage, leafy seadragons camouflage themselves as floating seaweed or kelp.

Species Profile:

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Body Size: 35 cm

Distribution: Australia

Habitat: Reefs and kelp forests

IUCN Status: Not Threatened

hockey-card-leafy-seadragonPhoto: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com

 

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