Tiger Pipefish, Filicampus tigris Click to enlarge image
Tiger Pipefish at a depth of 8 m, Camp Cove, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Image: Grey McNeil
© Grey McNeil

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    tigris
    Genus
    Filicampus
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 35 cm in length.

Introduction

As its common name suggests the Tiger Pipefish has dark bands on the body. The species is only known from Australia.

Identification

The Tiger Pipefish can be recognised by its colouration. It has dark bands on the body, which often contain blue blotches. There are stripes below the eye and small white saddles along the ventral ridge. David Muirhead commented correctly (below) that juvenile and sub adult Tiger Pipefish have dermal appendages on the body. The dorsally-positioned appendages on the head of juveniles can be quite long.


Tiger Pipefish, Filicampus tigris
A Tiger Pipefish at a depth of 10 m, Fly Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales, 23 Aug 2009. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Habitat

It is usually seen in estuaries on rubbly, sandy or weedy bottoms.

Distribution

The Tiger Pipefish is endemic to Australia. It occurs from southern Queensland to central New South Wales and from the central to north-western coasts of 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

  1. Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Pp. 230.
  2. Dawson, C.E. in Gomon, M.F, J.C.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  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. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press [1995]. Pp. 240.