Ruby seadragon

The ruby seadragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea) is a marine fish in the family Syngnathidae, which also includes seahorses. It inhabits the coast of Western Australia. The species was first described in 2015, making it only the third known species of seadragon, and the first to be discovered in 150 years. A specimen found on shore in 2007 was 23.5 cm (9.3 in) long.[2][3][4]

Ruby seadragon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Syngnathidae
Genus: Phyllopteryx
Species:
P. dewysea
Binomial name
Phyllopteryx dewysea
Stiller, Wilson, & Rouse, 2015

The team that discovered this species, named the marine fish after its color and they believe it is so red because it inhabits the deeper waters, where red hues are absorbed more efficiently and being red colored can help camouflage.[5][4]

In April 2016, researchers used an underwater camera to film a video of a live specimen for the first time, publishing their findings in January 2017.[6][7] The video confirmed that the ruby seadragon has stumpy lobes, rather than the longer (common) or elaborate (leafy) lobes that protrude from the other seadragons in the family Syngnathidae.[8]

Based on records, many assumed that the ruby seadragon normally lives at depths beyond normal scuba range and diving limits, which may be the explanation to why it went undiscovered for so long.[9] The species is found more often offshore in deeper waters.[10]

Scientific papers have been done by the University of Western Australia and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. The ruby seadragon has a prehensile tail, which means it can use its tail to hold and manipulate objects. Other species of seadragon do not have this type of tail, so this could point to an evolutionary cause. It is unknown if they developed this trait or if the other species lost it over time.[11][12][13][14]

See also

References

  1. Aylesworth, L. & Pollom, R. (2016). "Phyllopteryx dewysea (errata version published in 2017)". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T87568739A115514038. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T87568739A87568753.en.
  2. Geggel, Laura (February 18, 2015). "Ruby-Red Sea Dragon Is Brand-New Species". livescience.com. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  3. "Rare Ruby Seadragon uncovered in Western Australia". Western Australian Museum. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  4. Stiller, Josefin; Wilson, Nerida G.; Rouse, Greg W. (18 February 2015). "A spectacular new species of seadragon (Syngnathidae)". Royal Society Open Science. 2 (2): 140458. doi:10.1098/rsos.140458. ISSN 2054-5703. PMC 4448810. PMID 26064603.
  5. Mihai, Andrei (February 20, 2015). "New Seadragon Species Discovered After 150 Years – Ruby Seadragon Uses Color as Camouflage". ZME Science. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  6. "Rare Ruby Seadragon Caught on Video for First Time". 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  7. Rouse, Greg W.; Stiller, Josefin; Wilson, Nerida G. (2017-01-13). "First live records of the ruby seadragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea, Syngnathidae)". Marine Biodiversity Records. 10: 2. doi:10.1186/s41200-016-0102-x. ISSN 1755-2672.
  8. Mortillaro, Nicole (2017-01-13). "Newly discovered ruby sea dragon seen alive in wild for 1st time". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  9. Rouse, Greg W.; Stiller, Josefin; Wilson, Nerida G. (2017-01-13). "First live records of the ruby seadragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea, Syngnathidae)". Marine Biodiversity Records. 10 (1): 2. doi:10.1186/s41200-016-0102-x. ISSN 1755-2672.
  10. Stiller, Josefin; Wilson, Nerida G.; Rouse, Greg W. "A spectacular new species of seadragon (Syngnathidae)". Royal Society Open Science. 2 (2): 140458. doi:10.1098/rsos.140458. PMC 4448810. PMID 26064603.
  11. Stiller, Josefin, et al. “A Spectacular New Species of Seadragon (Syngnathidae).” Royal Society Open Science, The Royal Society Publishing, 18 Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4448810/.}}
  12. Josefin, Stiller, et al. “A Spectacular New Species of Seadragon (Syngnathidae).” Royal Society Open Science, 18 Feb. 2015, royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.140458.
  13. Rouse, Greg W., and Nerida G. Wilson1. “First Live Records of the Ruby Seadragon ( Phyllopteryx Dewysea , Syngnathidae).” Marine Biodiversity Records, BioMed Central, 13 Jan. 2017, mbr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41200-016-0102-x.
  14. Greshko, Michael. “Rare Ruby Seadragon Caught on Video for First Time.” National Geographic, 13 Jan. 2017, www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/01/ruby-seadragon-video-wild-first-time-animals/.
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