Mother-of-pearl Pipefish, Vanacampus margaritifer Click to enlarge image
Mother-of-Pearl Pipefish at a depth of 3 m, Shelly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales, June 2003. Image: Simon Dakin
© Simon Dakin

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    margaritifer
    Genus
    Vanacampus
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 20 cm in length.

Introduction

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

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.

Habitat

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

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.



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.