Animal Species:Javelin Pipefish, Lissocampus runa (Whitley, 1931)

The Javelin Pipefish has an extremely elongate slender body that is encased in bony rings. The length of the body posterior to the dorsal fin is longer than that before the dorsal fin. The dorsal margin of the snout is concave. Colouration of the species is variable. It is usually plain, but may have dark bars on the sides of the body. The anterior region of the dorsal fin often has a brown blotch. Females are brown, green, yellow or whitish. Males are usually white to blue with bright scarlet operculae.

A Javelin Pipefish in a rockpool, Wollongong

Sascha Schulz © Sascha Schulz

Standard Common Name

Javelin Pipefish

Identification

The Javelin Pipefish has an extremely elongate slender body that is encased in bony rings. The length of the body posterior to the dorsal fin is longer than that before the dorsal fin. The dorsal margin of the snout is concave.

Colouration of the species is variable. It is usually plain, but may have dark bars on the sides of the body. The anterior region of the dorsal fin often has a brown blotch. Females are brown, green, yellow or whitish. Males are usually white to blue with bright scarlet operculae.

Size range

It grows to about 10 cm in length.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia, occurring in temperate inshore waters from northern New South Wales, around the south of the country to south-western Western Australia.

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

Lissocampus runa

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Javelin Pipefish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Javelin Pipefish is usually encountered in algal beds and rubbly substrates near rocky reefs.

Life cycle

Males brood eggs in a pouch on the underside of the body anterior to the anal fin. The pouch is clearly visible in the lower images.

Classification

Species:
runa
Genus:
Lissocampus
Family:
Syngnathidae
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). Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. Pp. 230.
  2. Dawson, C.E. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.


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Tags fish, ichthyology, Javelin Pipefish, Lissocampus runa, rocky, reef, brown, yellow, green, white, eel-like, blotches/mottled, rocky reef, marine, adult, Syngnathidae,