Animal Species:Bentstick Pipefish, Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus (Bleeker, 1857)

The Bentstick Pipefish occurs in marine waters throughout much of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it lives in bays and estuaries on sand or mud, from the shallows to at least 40 m depth.

Standard Common Name

Bentstick Pipefish

Alternative Name/s

Bend Stick Pipefish, Chocolate Pipefish, Double-ended Pipefish, Ringed Pipefish, Short-tailed Pipefish, Stick Pipefish

Identification

The Bentstick Pipefish has a long snout and a head that projects at a slight angle to the body. Its colouration is variable from yellow to brown, red or black.

Size range

The species grows to 40cm in length.

Distribution

The Bentstick Pipefish occurs in marine waters throughout much of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north, and south to central New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Bentstick Pipefish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

In Australia it lives in bays and estuaries on sand or mud, from the shallows to at least 40 m depth.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds on zooplankton.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The species is sometimes observed with the anterior part of the fish raised above the substrate and the head facing into the current. The posterior part of the body and thickened ventral ray of the caudal fin are used to anchor the fish in place.

Classification

Species:
bicoarctatus
Genus:
Trachyrhamphus
Family:
Syngnathidae
Order:
Gasterosteiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Pp. 230.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
  6. Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7 Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Bentstick Pipefish, Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus, Syngnathidae, yellow, brown, red, black, 30 cm - 1 m, soft substrate, marine, adult,