Muiron Pipefish, Choeroichthys latispinosus Dawson 1978

Other Names: Muiron Island Pipefish, Muiron Islands Pipefish

Muiron Pipefish, Choeroichthys latispinosus. Source: Barry Hutchins / Western Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved


The protruding spines on the sides of the snout of the Muiron Pipefish distinguish this very rare species from all other pipefish in the genus Choeroichthys.

Cite this page as:
Thompson, Vanessa J. & Dianne J. Bray, Choeroichthys latispinosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Muiron Pipefish, Choeroichthys latispinosus Dawson 1978

More Info


Endemic to Western Australia, from Port Denison to Brecknock Island in the east Kimberley; inhabits coral reef rubble slopes in 1-10m.


Dorsal fin 22; Pectoral fin 20; Anal fin 4; Caudal fin 10; Trunk rings 19; Tail rings 20.

Snout with bilateral recurved spinous processes; snout depth 2.8 in snout length; median lateral snout ridge slightly arched; median dorsal snout ridge extends above level of nares in height; median ventral trunk ridge distinct; scutella not keeled; without knoblike projections on lateral trunk ridge; tail tip thick.


Reaches a length of 50 mm TL.


In preservative - overall brown; jaws with irregular pale mottling, some spotting elsewhere on the snout; median dorsal ridges with three pale blotches on midline; pale blotches on dorsal side of trunk and tail; irregular pale mottling below middle of dorsal fin; dorsal fin narrowly edged with black or brown. All fins darkly pigmented; dorsal fin not bicolored.


Unknown, but likely to feed on small crustaceans.


The eggs are brooded by the males in an enclosed pouch on the underside of trunk.


IUCN Red List: Data Deficient

Marine listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.


Known from very few specimens.

Similar Species

C. latispinosus differs from the other species in the genus in having a protruding recurved spiny anterolateral snout ridge. C. brachysoma is similar but has a less deep snout that lacks lateral spines at the tip. C. smithi has one fewer dorsal fin ray, a shorter dorsal fin base (covers 3.75-5.25 versus 5.75 rings) and has a lower snout depth in length ratio (3.75-5.25 compared to 5.75).


Choeroichthys is from the Greek choiros (pig) and Greek ichthys (fish). The specific name latispinosus is from the Latin latus (side) and spinosus (thorny), in reference to the protruding lateral snout ridge.

Species Citation

Choeroichthys latispinosus Dawson 1978, Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 64(4): 414, South Muiron Island, Western Australia.


Thompson, Vanessa J. & Dianne J. Bray

Muiron Pipefish, Choeroichthys latispinosus Dawson 1978


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine fishes of tropical Australia and south-east Asia. Western Australian Museum, Perth. 292 pp.

Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The marine fishes of north-western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Western Australian Museum, Perth. 201 pp.

Dawson, C.E. 1976. Review of the Indo-Pacific Pipefish genus Choeroichthys (Pisces: Syngnathidae), with descriptions of two new species. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 89(3): 39-66.

Dawson, C.E. 1978. Description of a new Western Australian pipefish (Choeroichthys latispinosus), with notes on Syngnathus tuckeri Scott and Nannocampichthys Hora and Mukerji. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 64(4): 413-421.

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

Fiegenbaum, H. & Pollom, R. 2015. Choeroichthys latispinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 28 June 2015.

Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, J.R. Paxton & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells (eds.) Zoological catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. 2178 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK. 240 pp.

Pogonoski, J.J. Pollard, D.A. & Paxton, J.R. 2002. Conservation Overview and Action Plan for Australian Threatened and Potentially Threatened Marine and Estuarine Fishes, Environment Australia, Canberra, 375 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282044

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient; EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:1-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5 cm TL


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