Animal Species:Mother-of-pearl Pipefish, Vanacampus margaritifer (Peters, 1869)

The Mother-of-pearl Pipefish is an endemic species that has a long snout and a small caudal fin.

Mother-of-Pearl Pipefish at Shelly Beach

Simon Dakin © Simon Dakin

Standard Common Name

Mother-of-pearl-Pipefish

Identification

The Mother-of-pearl Pipefish has a long snout and a small caudal fin. It is grey to black or brown, often with pale spots on the body and pale dashes along the ventral ridges of the tail.

Size range

It grows to 20 cm in length.

Distribution

It is endemic to Australia, occurring from southern Queensland, down the New South Wales coast and around the south of the country to eastern South Australia. It is not known from the Great Australian Bight, but does occur in 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.

Vanacampus margaritifer

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Mother-of-pearl Pipefish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species occurs in coastal and estuarine waters usually in algal beds and rubbly or muddy areas.

Classification

Species:
margaritifer
Genus:
Vanacampus
Family:
Syngnathidae
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  • 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.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Vanacampus, margaritifer, Mother-of-pearl, Pipefish, grey, black, brown, 10 cm - 30 cm, long and skinny, spots, algae, soft substrate, marine, adult,