Bentstick Pipefish, Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus Click to enlarge image
A Benttick Pipefish at a depth of 18 m, Redang Island, off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, April 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    bicoarctatus
    Genus
    Trachyrhamphus
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 40cm in length.

Introduction

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.



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.

Habitat

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

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.



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.

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.