Flagtail Pipefish, Doryrhamphus negrosensis Herre 1934

Other Names: Masthead Island Pipefish, Masthead Island Pipe-fish, Negros Pipefish, Queensland Flagtail Pipefish

A pair of Flagtail Pipefish, Doryrhamphus negrosensis, in Indonesia - note the eggs on the abdomen of the male. Source: Silke Baron / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY Attribution


A small bluish to bluish-grey pipefish with a pale strip along the top of the head and snout, and a dark tail with a white margin and an orange base.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, Doryrhamphus negrosensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1526

Flagtail Pipefish, Doryrhamphus negrosensis Herre 1934

More Info


Tropical Western Pacific, Borneo to Micronesia, Vanuatu, northern Australia; inhabits sheltered inner reef flats, muddy areas and lagoons, usually within rubble habitats or associated with sea urchins to 10 m.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin 16-21; Pectoral fin 18-21; Trunk rings 16-17; Tail rings 14-16,

Head and body: HL 4.0-4.6 in SL, snout length 2.0-2.1 in HL, snout depth 5.4-7.8 in snout length; males without bony ventrolateral projections on the snout. Superior trunk and tail ridges discontinuous; lateral trunk ridge confluent with inferior tail ridge; principle ridges of posterior predorsal rings and most tail rings with two spines in late juveniles-adults.

Caudal fin large, fan-like.


Grows to about 5 cm TL.


Sides of body plain, yellowish without no distinct stripe; dorsal surface with a pale median stripe from snout to 3rd-4th trunk ring; snout blue to grey, darker than body.


Feeds on planktonic micro-crustaceans, and like other Doryramphus species may clean parasites off other fishes.


The eggs are brooded by the males in a semi-exposed pouch under the trunk; males begin brooding at 43 mm TL.




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


Doryrhamphus is from the Greek, dory meaning lance and the Greek, rhamphos for bill, beak. Named negrosensis after the type locality, Negros Island.

Species Citation

Doryrhamphus negrosensis Herre 1934, Herre Philipp. Exped.: 28, Tide pool near Dumaguete, Oriental Negros, Philippines.


Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson

Flagtail Pipefish, Doryrhamphus negrosensis Herre 1934


Aruga, 1984. p. 84, In Masuda, H., K. Amaoka, C. Araga, T. Uyeno & T. Yoshino. The fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokai Univ. Press. Fish. 437pp, 370 pls.

Dawson, C.E. 1981. Review of the Indo-Pacific pipefish genus Doryrhamphus Kaup (Pisces: Syngnathidae), with descriptions of a new species and a new subspecies, Ichthyol. Bull. J.L.B. Smith Inst. 44: 1-27, figs. 1-17.

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

Herald, E.S. & J.E. Randall. 1972. Five new Indo-Pacific pipefishes. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 39(11): 121-140.

Herre, A.W.C.T. 1934. Notes on Fishes in the Zoological Museum of Stanford University. 1. The fishes of the Herre Philippine Expedition of 1931. Hong Kong: The Newspaper Enterprise 106 pp.

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.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian reef fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. 3rd revised ed. Coral Graphics, Guam. 330 pp, 192 pls.

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.

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

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Bathurst. 557 pp.

Whitley, G.P. 1954. New locality records for some Australian fishes. Proc. Roy.  Zool. Soc. N. S. W. 1952-53: 23-30.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282060

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5 cm TL

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