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
Bend Stick Pipefish, Chocolate Pipefish, Double-ended Pipefish, Ringed Pipefish, Short-tailed Pipefish, Stick Pipefish
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.
The species grows to 40cm in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Pp. 230.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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