Schultz's Pipefish, Corythoichthys schultzi Herald 1953

Other Names: Guilded Pipefish, Long-snouted Pipefish

Schultz's Pipefish, Corythoichthys schultzi, at Lembeh Straits, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution


Schultz's Pipefish has a long head, a long slender snout, usually with dark stripes and spots on the side of snout and a dark stripe on the gill cover. The body has 10-15 indistinct bands (or bands comprised of stripes sometimes with ocelli or rectangular spots).

Cite this page as:
Thompson, Vanessa J. & Dianne J. Bray, Corythoichthys schultzi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2023,

Schultz's Pipefish, Corythoichthys schultzi Herald 1953

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Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to Tonga, north to southern Japan and south to the offshore islands of north Western Australia and throughout the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Schultz's Pipefish usually inhabits coarse sand and rubble areas along reef edges in lagoons and on seaward reefs at 1-30m.


Dorsal fin 25-31; Pectoral fin 14-18; Trunk rings 15-17; Tail rings 32-39.

Head length 6.0-8.1 in SL, snout long, slender, snout depth 6.6-11.9 in snout length. Margins of superior trunk ridges slightly elevated above dorsal surface, finely denticulate in juveniles to 60 mm, mainly entire in larger fish; superior trunk ridges moderately to deeply indented between rings; prenuchal and nuchal ridges smooth; snout, elongate, snout length 1.5-2.0 in HL; median snout ridge usually with slight dorsal emargination; eye prominent; nostril morphology variable with two external pores common.

Caudal fin present.


To 16cm TL


Colour variable with geographic region, usually with dark stripes and spots on the side of the snout. The trunk has 10 to 15 indistinct bars or prominent bands, sometimes with ocelli, each band covers 1-2 rings, interspaced with about three rings and often lightly shaded with chromatophores. The top of the head behind eyes is usually dusky or plain. The dorsal ridges have a series of orange dashes and the sides have elongated spots, sometimes forming series of short lines. Dorsal fin lacks pale spots.


Feeds on small crustaceans sucked up from the sandy substrate or between the branches of soft corals.


The sexes are separate. Males and females form monogamous pairs and the eggs are brooded by the males in a pouch under the tail. The pouch protects the dorsal surface and side of the egg mass, leaving the ventral surface exposed. Males may begin brooding at 90-95 mm TL. Eggs are deposited in 2-17 transverse rows within a gelatinous matrix.


Sometimes collected for the aquarium trade.


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


Adult Schultz's Pipefish occur in pairs or small groups out in the open or in crevices and hollows at night.

Similar Species

C. schultzi has a long head and snout and is the only species of Corythoichthys in which two external nasal pores are common. Most similar to C. ocellatus which also has a long head and snout but differs in counts of dorsal fin rays and tail rings (25-31 and 32-39 versus 22-25 and 29-32 in C. ocellatus) and markings on ventral surface of anterior trunk rings.


The species is named for Leonard P. Schultz, former curator in the Division of Fishes, United States National Museum of Natural History from 1936 to 1968.

Species Citation

Corythoichthys schultzi Herald 1953, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 202(1): 271, fig. 42. Type locality: 100 yards offshore in lagoon, Arji Island, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, depth 6.1-12.2 m.


Thompson, Vanessa J. & Dianne J. Bray


Atlas of Living Australia

Australian Faunal Directory
Catalog of Fishes

Schultz's Pipefish, Corythoichthys schultzi Herald 1953


Allen, G.R., R.C. Steene & M. Orchard. 2007. The Fishes of Christmas Island. 2nd Ed. Christmas Island Natural History Association. 284 pp.

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

Herald, E.S. 1953. Family Syngnathidae: pipefishes. pp. 231-278, figs 36-44 In: Schultz L.P., Herald E.S., Lachner E.A., Welander A.D. & Woods L.P. (eds) Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. 1. Families Asymmetrontidae through Siganidae. Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 202(1): 1-685, figs. 1-90.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282052

Biology:Male brood pouch

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