Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    brachyurus
    Genus
    Microphis
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 22cm in length.

Introduction

The Short-tail Pipefish has a very long slender snout. It occurs in tropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Identification

The Short-tail Pipefish has a very long slender snout with small white spots and blotches. The body is brown or greenish above and pale below. There are very small white spots on the body and a dark line through both eyes.

Habitat

Juveniles have been collected from offshore marine waters and in harbours. Adults and juveniles have been collected from estuaries, freshwater streams and rivers. The species has a marine larval stage.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

In Australia it is known from Cape York, south to the Lizard Island area, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Ozcam map of Short-tail Pipefish specimens in the Australian Museums http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Microphis%20brachyurus&zoom=off#mapView

Breeding behaviours

Mature male Short-tail Pipefish carry the eggs in a brood pouch on the ventral surface of the body. Large males can carry several hundred eggs.

References

  1. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  2. Dawson, C.E. 1984. Revision of the genus Microphis Kaup (Pisces: Syngnathidae). Bulletin of Marine Science. 35(2):117-181.
  3. Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. Pp. 230.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240
  5. 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.