Equulites popei (Whitley, 1932)
Pope's ponyfish
Equulites popei
photo by FAO

Family:  Leiognathidae (Slimys, slipmouths, or ponyfishes)
Max. size:  12 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; depth range 20 - 100 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: east coast of Africa (Mozambique, Oman) and the Red Sea (a Lessepsian migrant, Golani et al, 2011) to the Philippines; north to Japan (including Okinawa), Thailand (Gulf of Thailand); south to Malaysia (Sabah).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 8-8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16-16; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 14-14. This species of the Equulites elongatus group is distinguished by the following set of characters: eye diameter 82-137% postorbital head length; distance from pelvic-fin insertion to center of anus 35-50% of the distance from pelvic-fin insertion to anal-fin origin; scales above lateral line 8-13, below 12-19; dorsolateral body with large dark blotches rarely forming ring marks (0-2) and a few dark spots (0-5) that are smaller than a half of pupil diameter; the tips of neural and hemal spines of fourth preural centrum is less expanding, distal expansion ratios of neural and hemal spines of the fourth preural centrum 2.1-3.9. Colour of the head and ventrolateral body almost uniformly silvery white; snout tip blackish; upper posterior margin of the operculum pale yellow; dorsolateral body silvery brown with scattered dark blotches; pectoral axil dark and pectoral fin pale yellow; black lines along the caudal-fin rays, the posterior margin of caudal fin dark while other fins are colourless (Ref. 120651).
Biology:  Inhabits shallow waters, usually in schools near the bottom. Feeds mainly on small crustaceans, polychaetes and algae (Ref. 30573).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 19.06.91
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 11.07.19
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 09.07.19

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