Painted Pipefish, Nannocampus lindemanensis (Whitley 1948)

Other Names: Lindeman Island Pipefish

A small pipefish found in shallow lagoons on coral reef flats.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa Thompson, Nannocampus lindemanensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Painted Pipefish, Nannocampus lindemanensis (Whitley 1948)

More Info


Tropical Western-Pacific; known from the Great Barrier Reef, Cape York, Queensland, to Ballina in northern New South Wales. The species inhabits shallow reef flats in large lagoons with algal-rubble habitats; depth range 0-20 metres.


Meristic features: D 18-22; P 5-7; trunk rings 13-14; tail rings 34-41; subdorsal rings 1.25-0.0 + 3.5-5.5 = 4.25-5.75.

Body elongate, trunk moderately shallow; head aligned with body; head length 10.2-14.2 in SL; snout short, 2.7-3.3 in HL; snout depth 1.4-2.0 in snout length; median dorsal snout ridge entire, low to distinctly elevated above dorsal rim of orbit, confluent with supraorbital ridges; opercular and other head ridges vestigial or obsolete; superior and inferior trunk ridges continuous with their respective tail ridges; lateral trunk ridge, deflected on posterior 2-3 trunk rings; principle body ridges entire, indistinct; scutella not keeled; without dermal flaps; tail not prehensile.

Dorsal fin origin from anterior margin of penultimate trunk ring to posterior fourth of 1st tail ring, base not elevated; pectoral fins present or absent in subadults-adults; anal fin absent.


Maximum size 100 mm.


Tan to dark brown with darker spots around the orbit and on body; caudal fin dusky with light edges; brood pouch with dark longitudinal striations.


Unknown - lilkely to feed on small curstaceans.


Oviparous - males brood the developing eggs in a brood pouch under tail; pouch plates and folds present with everted pouch closure; males likely to be brooding at 54 mm TL.


Of no interest to fisheries or aquaculture.


CITES: not listed.

IUCN Red List Status: not evaluated.

Australian Commonwealth legislation: Marine listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).


Nannocampus is from the Latin nannus (small) and the Greek kampos (sea animal). The species is named after Lindeman Island, the type locality.

Species Citation

Campichthys tryoni lindemanensis Whitley 1948, Rec. Aust. Mus. 22(1): 78,  Lindeman Island, Queensland.


Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa Thompson


Painted Pipefish, Nannocampus lindemanensis (Whitley 1948)


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 (as Mannarichthys pictus)

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

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and Their Relatives. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 240 pp. (as Nannocampus pictus)

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia. Pp. 1–333.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.F. Hoese & D.J. Bray. 2006. Syngnathidae (Pp. 810–846). In  Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (Eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. Fishes. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia., 3 vols.

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. (as Nannocampus pictus)

Whitley, G.P. 1948. Studies in Ichthyology No. 13. Rec. Aust. Mus. 22(1): 70-94.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282093

Biology:Males brood the eggs

Conservation:EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map