Javelin Pipefish Click to enlarge image
A Javelin Pipefish at a depth of 13 m, Inscription Point, 31 December 2015. Image: Andrew Trevor-Jones
© Andrew Trevor-Jones

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    runa
    Genus
    Lissocampus
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to about 10 cm in length.

Introduction

The Javelin Pipefish is endemic to Australia. This variably coloured species grows to about 10 cm in length.

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.

Habitat

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

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.



Life history 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.

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.