Phyllopteryx dewysea 

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Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Phyllopteryx dewysea
Species Authority: Stiller, Wilson & Rouse, 2015
Taxonomic Source(s): Stiller, J., Wilson, N. G., and Rouse, G. W. 2015. A spectacular new species of seadragon (Syngnathidae). Royal Society Open Science 2: 140458.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-11
Assessor(s): Aylesworth, L. & Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Phyllopteryx dewysea is a newly described seadragon that is known from four individuals collected off the southwestern coast of Australia. Little is known about its distribution, habitat, ecology. population size, or threats. Therefore, this species is listed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Phyllopteryx dewysea is a newly described species and is known from only four specimens, which were collected off of southwestern Australia from the Recherche Archipelago and from near Perth (Stiller et al. 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Number of Locations:2Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There have been no dedicated surveys or population estimates for Phyllopteryx dewysea. The species is known from only four specimens. Further research is required in order to determine population size and trends in abundance.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Unknown
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Little is known about the habitat of Phyllopteryx dewysea. The only known specimens were trawled from an area with mixed reef and sand habitat (Radford et al. 2008, Stiller et al. 2015). The sister species of P. dewysea, P. taeniolatus, is known to inhabit sandy and reef areas with seagrass, sponge, and/or macroalgal cover (Kuiter 2000, Connolly 2006). 
Phyllopteryx taeniolatus and other syngnathid species feed on mysids and other small planktonic and/or benthic crustaceans, and it's likely that this species is similar in that regard (Kendrick and Hyndes 2005; Connolly 2006). 
The other member of the genus exhibits male pregnancy, and males of that species brood 250-300 eggs under their tail. Gestation takes about two months and the young settle on the substrate. They brood once or twice per year during the austral summer, and are mature at age 2 (Kuiter 2000). It is thought that P. dewysea might exhibit similar reproductive characteristics, but further research is needed in order to confirm this.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Seadragons have been reported at low levels in trade, but the very recent description of this species precludes it from having been recorded. The species may be taken at low levels, but it is also deeper and less likely to be encountered by divers.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little is known about the threats to Phyllopteryx dewysea. Further research on habitat use and population trends is needed before the threats to this species can be properly assessed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Phyllopteryx dewysea. The species is protected along with all other syngnathids under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).

Citation: Aylesworth, L. & Pollom, R. 2016. Phyllopteryx dewysea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T87568739A87568753. . Downloaded on 24 April 2017.
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