Every so often nature creates a creature that defies logic. Just as the platypus defied logic and scientists first insisted the creature must be a fake made up of a mammal with the bill of a duck sewn on its face, so too does the Pegasus fish seem impossible.
Who would image a fish existed with an armoured body, wings that do not allow flight, a Pegasus style rostrum protruding from its face and the power to swim but a preference to walk.
But exist it does and it’s only since our explorations now take us to remote locations and new dive sites that are more muck than coral, that we now encounter some of the oceans’ most bizarre creatures.
As a photographer I am always thrilled when I can capture images of creatures that most people have never seen or believe exist. I think that is of the best use of the documentary photographic genre. Explore, discover and record the wonders of the world around us. Then share, publish, entertain, amaze, educate and hopefully encourage conservation in our oceans.
Photo Data: Location: Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia Genre: Macro with Twin Strobes. Photo Data: Nikon D800 camera, Nikkor 60mm Macro Lens, Seacam Housing with Seacam Strobes. Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 100 Exposure f18 @ 1/125th second shutter speed. Image by Kevin Deacon.
Photo Hints: Shooting at a slightly downward angle is favourable with this subject as this will reveal the unusual geometric shape and capture the details in the wing-like pectoral fin.
Be sure to aim your strobe to light the fish’s head and keep the strobe lower to reduce shadow under the long rostrum that protrudes forwards from its face.
Interesting Facts: There are only 5 known species of the unusual family of Sea Moths, or in latin Pegasidae. The body is encased in rigid plates and the tail encircled with bony rings.
The wing-like pectoral fins are used to startle predators and for display to court females. I have often seen them in pairs with one faithfully following the other.
Common names. Pegasus Fish. Sea Moth. Little Dragonfish.
Latin name. Eurpegasus draconis