Ringback Pipefish, Stipecampus cristatus (McCulloch & Waite 1918)


Other Names: Crested Pipefish, Ring-back Pipefish, Ring-backed Pipefish

A Ringback Pipefish, Stipecampus cristatus, at St Leonards, Port Phillip, Victoria. Source: Julian K. Finn / Museums Victoria. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:

An mottled brownish pipefish with 9–11 irregular narrow pale bars or blotches along the back, pale irregular blotches along the sides of the tail, and a dark blotch on the dorsal fin. The Ringback Pipefish also has an elevated snout ridge - hence the species name cristatus.


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Stipecampus cristatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Dec 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3194

Ringback Pipefish, Stipecampus cristatus (McCulloch & Waite 1918)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia; known from Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, northern Tasmania, Bass Strait Islands, and across South Australia to just north of Perth, Western Australia. Prefers sheltered reef and rubble areas, living in sparse algal and and seagrass habitats (Amphibolis and Posidonia), often near channels in large estuaries and bays in 3-12 m.

Features

Dorsal fin 26–29; Anal fin 3–4; Caudal fin 8; Pectoral fin 12–13; Trunk rings 19–20; Tail rings:  39–42; Subdorsal rings 1.25–1.50 + 4.00–5.25 = 5.00–6.25; Total rings: 58-62.

Superior and inferior trunk ridges continuous with corresponding ridges of tail; lateral trunk terminates between last trunk ring and 3rd tail ring, not confluent with inferior tail ridge; dorsal fin base not elevated. Snout length 27–33% HL, depth 62–77% snout length; median dorsal snout ridge a large, continuous, plate-like elevation, often elevated above dorsal rim of orbit, continuous posteriorly with orbital ridges. Opercular ridge complete or indistinct, crossed elsewhere by about 40 minutely granular striae. Dorsal-fin origin on trunk.

Size

To 25 cm.

Colour

Mostly shades of brown and pale with variable markings; usually narrow dark stripes behind eye; often 9–11 narrow, irregular, pale bars dorsally, extending slightly ventrally, sometimes with pale blotches irregularly just above inferior ridge; dark blotch usually anteriorly on dorsal fin.

Feeding

Feeds on small crustaceans.

Biology

Males brood eggs in a pouch under the anterior 13-16 rings of the tail. The pouch plates are well-developed and angled laterally.

During courtship, the male circles the female with his pouch flaps held wide open. Males and females then rise together to exchange eggs about a metre or two off the bottom.

Within the pouch, the eggs are in 1-2 transverse rows; eggs are separate, not in a gelatinous matrix; incubation of 50-100 embryos takes about 4 weeks.

Larvae hatch at about 20mm in length.

Fisheries

Occasionally taken as bycatch in trawls and dredges.

Conservation

Australian Commonwealth legislation: Marine listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

State Legislation: Listed as protected under the New South Wales, Victorian, Tasmanian and South Australian Fisheries Management Acts.

Remarks

Ringback Pipefish seasonally migrate into Port Phillip Bay (Victoria), often in large numbers, presumably to breed.

Similar Species

Stipecampus cristatus differs from other southern Australian pipefishes in having the following combination of characters: a continuous, strongly developed and elevated, snout ridge continuous with the orbital ridges; the flat interorbital; absence of ridges on pectoral-fin base; presence of pouch plates. Although the snout ridge configuration is somewhat similar to that of male Campichthys tryoni, the ridge is continuous with the orbital ridges (not so in C. tryoni) and most merisitc counts differ completely.

Etymology

The specific name cristatus refers to the crest on the snout.

Species Citation

Ichthyocampus cristatus McCulloch & Waite 1918, Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 1(1): 40, fig. 26, Spencer Gulf (SA).

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Ringback Pipefish, Stipecampus cristatus (McCulloch & Waite 1918)

References


Dawson, C.E. 1977. Synopsis of Syngnathine pipefishes usually referred to the genus Ichthyocampus Kaup, with description of new genera and species. Bulletin of Marine Science 27(4): 595–650.

Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA, 230pp.

Kendrick, A.J. & G.A. Hyndes. 2003. Patterns in the abundance and size distribution of syngnathid fishes among habitats in a seagrass-dominated marine environment. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 57: 631-640.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House, Bathurst, NSW, Australia, 437pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2008. Family Syngnathidae (pp. 448–479). In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. (Eds.) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. New Holland Press & Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 928 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia. Pp. 1–333.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes Of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority, Hobart. 563pp.

McCulloch, A.R. & E. R. Waite. 1918. Some new and little-known fishes from South Australia. Rec. S. Austr. Mus. I: 39-78.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.F. Hoese & D.J. Bray. 2006. Syngnathidae (Pp. 810–846). In  Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (Eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. Fishes. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia., 3 vols.

Scott, E.O.G. 1970. Observations on some Tasmanian fishes: Part XVII. Pap. Proc. Roy. Soc. Tasmania 104: 33-50.

Dawson, C.E. 1977. Synopsis of Syngnathine pipefishes usually referred to the genus Ichthyocampus Kaup, with description of new genera and species. Bulletin of Marine Science 27(4): 595–650.

Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA, 230pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House, Bathurst, NSW, Australia, 437pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2008. Family Syngnathidae (pp. 448–479). In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. (Eds.) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. New Holland Press & Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 928 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia. Pp. 1–333.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes Of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority, Hobart. 563pp.

McCulloch, A.R. & E. R. Waite. 1918. Some new and little-known fishes from South Australia. Rec. S. Austr. Mus. I: 39-78.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.F. Hoese & D.J. Bray. 2006. Syngnathidae (Pp. 810–846). In  Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (Eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. Fishes. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia., 3 vols.

Scott, E.O.G. 1970. Observations on some Tasmanian fishes: Part XVII. Pap. Proc. Roy. Soc. Tasmania 104: 33-50.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37282019

Conservation:EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:0-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated, shelly/sand areas

Max Size:25 cm

Native:Endemic

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map