Deshkivari have one of the most elaborate and long courtship dances of any known creature, the dances lasting up to eight hours and involving several delicate maneuvers between the flying seahorses. The eggs are cared for by their fathers in special brooding pouches on the male's belly until they are ready to hatch, at which point several hundred of the young fry are released into the water. Occasionally the eggs may be released just prior to hatching if the male is in peril and thinks the eggs would have a better chance at survival on their own. The young fish remain in the ocean until their wings grow in, feeding on drifting plankton in the water column. The young are only a centimeter or two long and highly vulnerable to predators, so they spend most of their time grasping onto sea weed and corals, relying on their stillness and coloration to hide from predators. When their wings are sufficiently large, they float to the surface and take their first breath of air, then jump into the sky in search of their first nectar meal.
Deshkivari are common around the Callisto Islands and can often be seen investigating outdoor buffets or flitting alongside sea vessels. They never wander far from land as they require nectar to fuel their high metabolisms, but strong winds will occasionally blow them to distant islands. Deshkivari have even been reported in the Candle Archipelagos, though no one is quite sure how they got there. While easily mistaken for a hummingbird from a distance, deshkivari do not flap their wings nearly as quickly and cannot truly hover, though they will grasp plants with their prehensile tails as they feed. Old potion recipes occasionally call for deshkivari wings or tails to enhance the potency of certain brews, though the efficacy of these ingredients has been debated for over a hundred years. Even to this day, some magi will insist that deshkivari wings will prolong the shelf life of a potion and deshkivari tails will double a potion's strength, but this has yet to be verified empirically. Living deshkivari have a rather unusual ability that is generally useless to humans: they can extend their power of flight to allow small fish to breathe out of water and float in the air for a limited time.
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: PKGriffin