Tryon's Pipefish, Campichthys tryoni (Ogilby 1890)

Tryon's Pipefish, Campichthys tryoni. Source: Ian Banks / Atlas of Living Australia. License: CC By Attribution


A rare mostly tan coloured pipefish with brownish markings, a white patch above the eyes, a pale blotch above the gill cover and small white spots or blotches along the back and tail. Males often have irregular dark bars along the underside.

Cite this page as:
Thompson, V.J. & Bray, D.J, 2017, Campichthys tryoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Tryon's Pipefish, Campichthys tryoni (Ogilby 1890)

More Info


Endemic to Queensland, from Lindeman Island to the Gold Coast. Inhabits shallow rubble areas in estuaries, inner reef flats and reef margins bordering sand channels.


Dorsal fin 17-19; Anal fin 3-4; Pectoral fin 7-9; Caudal fin 10; Trunk rings 16-17; Tail rings 33-35; Subdorsal rings 1.25-0.25 + 3.00-4.00 = 4.00-4.75.

Body slender, elongate; trunk shallow; head aligned with body; snout length 31-39% HL, depth 50-67% snout length; median dorsal snout ridge sometimes emarginate but without marginal crests or projections; longitudinal opercular ridge angled upward, usually incomplete in adults; tail not prehensile, thick at tip; lateral trunk ridge usually ending on 2nd tail ring; dorsal fin short-based, centred on back; anal fin tiny; pectoral fins small; caudal fin small, rounded.


To 7.5 cm.


Mostly tan with brownish markings, usually with pale blotch above opercle and with small pale spots or blotches on dorsal and posterior margins. Males often have irregular dark bars on the underside of the body.


Unknown, but presumed to prey on small crustaceans.


The eggs are brooded by the males in an enclosed pouch on the underside of the trunk; males may be brooding at a length of 60-65mm.


Of no interest to fisheries and unlikely to be taken as bycatch due to its small size.


Campichthys tryoni is a listed Marine species under under s248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999 Marine Species).


This secretive pipefish usually shelters under large pieces of rubble.

Similar Species

Although the elevated snout ridge is similar to that of Stipecampus cristatus, Tryon's Pipefish differs in several characters, including the lateral trunk configuration and higher trunk ring count. C. tryoni is distinguished from other species in the genus by the combination of a continuous elevated snout ridge, 16-17 trunk rings, 10 caudal rays and 8 pectoral rays.


The species is named for Mr Tryon.

Species Citation

Ichthyocampus tryoni Ogilby 1890, Rec. Aust. Mus. 1(3): 56. Type locality: Moreton Bay, QLD.


Thompson, V.J. & Bray, D.J, 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Tryon's Pipefish, Campichthys tryoni (Ogilby 1890)


Dawson, C.E. 1977. Synopsis of syngnathine pipefishes usually referred to the genus Ichthyocampus Kaup, with description of new genera and species. Bull. Mar. Sci. 27(4): 595-650.

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

Dawson, C.E. 1994. Family Syngnathidae. pp. 440-475 figs 391-426 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Campichthys tryoni in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Available from: Accessed 2008-04-15@09:48:19.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

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

Kuiter, R.H. 2008. Syngnathidae. pp. 448-479 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia. 333 pp.

Ogilby, J.D. 1890. Descriptions of two new species of Australian Lophobranchiate fishes. Rec. Aust. Mus. 1(3): 55-56.

Paulus, T. 1999. Family Syngnathidae. pp 2264-2276, In Capenter K.E. & Niem V.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide For Fisheries Purposes. FAO Vol. 4. pp 2069-2790.

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

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282041

Biology:Males brood eggs

Conservation:EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:0-5 m

Habitat:Inshore, rubble bottoms

Max Size:To 7.5 cm


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map