Prophet's Pipefish, Lissocampus fatiloquus (Whitley 1943)


A poorly-known pipefish.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Lissocampus fatiloquus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2020,

Prophet's Pipefish, Lissocampus fatiloquus (Whitley 1943)

More Info


Endemic to western and northern Australia, from Fremantle to the southern Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley region, Western Australia, and Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. 

Inhabits sparse rocky and sand areas in association with seagrass, macroalgae, at depths to 10 m. Individuals have been found amongst floating Sargassum and Sargassum-covered rocks.


Body very elongate, trunk shallow, head aligned with body; snout short; opercle without longitudinal ridge; ridges on body indistinct; superior trunk and tail ridges continuous; inferior trunk and tail ridges discontinuous near anal ring; lateral tail ridge apparently not confluent with tail ridges; tail not prehensile; dermal flaps present on head and body; lateral line absent

Dorsal fin much closer to head than to tip of tail, with short base; anal fin tiny, generally below rear half of dorsal fin; caudal fin small, rounded; pectoral fin present.


A small species, reaching just over 100 mm in length.


Presumably feeds on small crustaceans sucked in through the snout.


Males incubate the eggs in an enclosed pouch on underside of the tail just behind anal fin; pouch plates absent, pouch folds present.


Very occasionally taken in trawls and dredges.


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


Lissocampus is from the Greek lissos, meaning smooth, polished, and kampos, meaning sea animal.

Species Citation

Campichthys fatiloquus Whitley 1943, Aust. Zool. 10(2): 176, Fig. 7. Type locality: Shark's Bay, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Prophet's Pipefish, Lissocampus fatiloquus (Whitley 1943)


Dawson, C.E. 1977. Review of the Indo-Pacific pipefish genus Lissocampus (Syngnathidae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 89(53): 599–620 figs 1–7.

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

Hamilton, H., Saarman, N., Short, G., Sellas, A.B., Moore, B., Hoang, T., Grace, T.C.L., Gomon, M., Crow, K. & Simison, W.B. 2016. Molecular phylogeny and patterns of diversification in syngnathid fishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 107: 388-403 + supplement 1-4 + 5.

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, pp 239-253. In Wells, F.E. (ed.) The Marine Flora and Fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Johnson, J.W. & Gill, A.C. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria. Gulf of Carpentaria Scientific Study Report. Geography Monograph Series. Brisbane: Royal Geographic Society of Queensland. pp. 239-260

Kendrick, A.J. & Hyndes, G.A. 2005. Variations in the dietary compositions of morphologically diverse syngnathid fishes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 72: 415-427.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, pipefishes and their relatives. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 240 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Seaford, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 331.

Pollom, R. & Qian, Y. 2016. Lissocampus fatiloquus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T65370087A67619013. Downloaded on 30 January 2019.

Whitley, G.P. 1943. Ichthyological notes and illustrations. Part 2. The Australian Zoologist 10(2): 167-187 figs 1-10 See ref at BHL

Whitley, G.P. & Allan, J. 1958. The Sea-horse and its relatives. Melbourne : Georgian House 84 pp. 25 figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282084

Biology:Males brood the eggs

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern; EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map