Animal Species:Girdled Pipefish, Festucalex cinctus (Ramsay, 1882)
The Girdled Pipefish has a broad head, slender snout and leafy appendages on the dorsal ridges. The species is endemic to Australia.
Standard Common Name
The Girdled Pipefish can be recognised by its broad head, slender snout and leafy appendages on the dorsal ridges. It is variable in colour, usually a dark grey, or orange-brown with pale bars across the back. Occasionally pale or black individuals are seen.
The Girdled Pipefish was described in 1882 by Australian Museum Director and ichthyologist Edward Pierson Ramsay.
The species grows to 16 cm in length.
Three species of Festucalex are known from Australian waters. The other two are Gibb's Pipefish, F. gibbsi, which occurs off north-eastern Queensland, and the Ladder Pipefish, F. scalaris, which occurs off south-western Western Australia.
It is endemic to Australia, occurring in inshore waters of the Northern Territory, Queensland and 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
The species is usually found in sheltered coastal bays, often on patches of rubble, sand or in sparse algal growth in depths of 10 m to 20 m. It has also been caught in deeper water by trawlers.
- 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. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology