Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Dactylopteriformes
(Flying gurnards) > Pegasidae
Etymology: Pegasus: Taken form the winged horse of Perseus in the ancient Greek, mithology (Ref. 45335); lancifer: From the Latin word 'lancea' meaning a light spear or lance. More on author: Kaup.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 20 - 50 m (Ref. 75154). Temperate; 33°S - 45°S
Eastern Indian Ocean: endemic to the temperate waters of southern Australia and Tasmania.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 9.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1418)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 5;
Vertebrae: 22. Body light to dark brown, olive or blue dorsally and laterally, light brown ventrally. Tail rings 14, anteriormost 7 mobile, remaining 7 fused; terminal tail rings with dorsal and ventral pairs of posteriorly directed spines; rostrum square in cross section; interpectoral plate absent. 4 pairs dorsolateral body plates; 5 pairs ventrolateral body plates; suborbital shelf convex, obscuring eye from ventral view; deep pits on dorsal surface of head and within interorbital depression absent. Orbit with small scales.
A benthic species found inshore of the continental shelf in muddy, silty and sandy bottoms, usually with seagrass; intertidal to 50 m depth (Ref. 75154). Large numbers of individuals are known to congregate in the shallows of estuaries. The species is capable of burying itself in the sediment and change colors to match the background.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Spawning occurs as male & female swim from vent to vent, about 1 meter off the bottom, while they release eggs & sperms. The pair separates and each swims away as the eggs begin a pelagic phase.
Palsson, W.A. and T.W. Pietsch, 1989. Revision of the Acanthopterygian fish Family Pegasidae (Order Gasterosteiformes). Indo-Pac. Fish. (18):38 p. (Ref. 1418)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 14.6 - 18, mean 16 °C (based on 31 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5781 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .