Pacific Shortbody Pipefish, Choeroichthys brachysoma (Bleeker 1855)


Other Names: Pacific Short-bodied Pipefish, Pale-blotched Pipefish, Shortbodied Pipefish, Short-bodied Pipefish

A Pacific Shortbody Pipefish, Choeroichthys brachysoma, at Point Murat, Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, June 2020. Source: Glen Whisson / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:

Males are wide-bodied, dark brown with scattered small white spots. Females are more slender with two rows of black spots along the side.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020, Choeroichthys brachysoma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Apr 2021, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/3170

Pacific Shortbody Pipefish, Choeroichthys brachysoma (Bleeker 1855)

More Info


Distribution

Exmouth Gulf and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Marshall and Society Islands, north to the Philippines and Japan and south to Australia. 

Inhabits tide pools, seagrass areas, coral reef lagoons and seaward reefs, in depths to 27 m.

Features

Dorsal fin 18-26; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 18-23; Caudal fin 10; Trunk rings 14-18; Tail rings 17-20; Total rings 40-43; Subdorsal rings 5.5-2.5 + 0.00-1.75 = 3.75-6.0.

Superior trunk and tail rings continuous; inferior trunk ridge ending on anal ring; lateral trunk ridge continuous with inferior tail ridge; scutella without keels.

Lateral and median dorsal snout ridges present; margins of head and body ridges smooth to finely serrate; trunk and tail ridges deeply notched or slightly indented between rings; knob-like projections absent on rear margins of trunk rings. HL 4.1-5.9 in SL; snout length 1.8-2.4 in HL; snout depth 3.8-5.8 in snout length.

Size

To 7 cm TL

Colour

Body overall dark brown with some pale speckling. A dark lateral stripe is usually present on the snout and opercle. Females usually have a row of dark spots above and below the lateral trunk ridge. Males usually have an incomplete row of spots above the lateral trunk ridge and a complete row below.

Feeding

Pipefishes generally feed by picking or sucking their prey via a rapid intake of water through the elongate snout. However, this species has distinct odontid processes, or tooth-like structures, on the premaxillae and dentaries of its jaws which may facilitate grazing (Dawson & Fritzsche 1975).

Biology

The sexes are separate, individuals are solitary. Males and females are conspicuously sexually dimorphic, and females lay their eggs onto the underside of the trunk of the male. The eggs are brooded in an enclosed pouch, and are usually arranged in a single layer of two parallel rows in the pouch. Males may be brooding at a length of 35-40 mm. The larvae are undescribed but are likely to be pelagic.

Conservation

Choeroichthys brachysoma is listed on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern, and is a listed Marine species under under s248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 EPBC Act.

Remarks


Similar Species

The Pacific Shortbody Pipefish is most similar to Choeroichthys suillus which has higher ring counts than C. brachysoma (trunk rings 18-19 versus 14-18 and total rings 37-39 versus 31-36).

Etymology

Choeroichthys is from the Greek choiros (pig) and ichthys (fish). The specific name brachysoma is from the Greek brachys (short) and soma (body, flesh) in reference to the relatively short body of this species.

Species Citation

Syngnathus brachysoma Bleeker 1855, Nat. Tijdschr. Ned. Ind. 8: 327. Type locality: Batu Archipelago, Indonesia.

Author

Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Pacific Shortbody Pipefish, Choeroichthys brachysoma (Bleeker 1855)

References


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. 2000. Fishes of the Montebello Islands. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 59: 47-57

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.) Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106

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

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Bleeker, P. 1855. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van de Batoe-eilanden. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 8: 305-328 See ref at BHL

Dawson, C.E. 1976. Review of the Indo-Pacific pipefish genus Choeroichthys (Pisces : Syngnathidae) with descriptions of two new species. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 89(3): 39-66 figs 1-9 

Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). Ocean Springs (Mississippi) : Gulf Coast Research Laboratory 230 pp. 293 figs pl. 1.

Dawson, C. & Fritzsche, R. 1975. Odontoid processes in pipefish jaws. Nature 257(5525): 390. https://doi.org/10.1038/257390a0

Fiegenbaum, H. & Pollom, R. 2015. Choeroichthys brachysoma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T56852595A82938789. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015.RLTS.T56852595A82938789.en. Downloaded on 14 July 2020.

Fricke, R. 2004. Review of the pipefishes and seahorses (Teleostei: Syngnathidae) of New Caledonia, with descriptions of five new species. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie). 668: 1-66.

Günther, A. 1884. Reptilia, Batrachia and Pisces. pp. 29–33 pl. 3 in, Report on the Zoological Collections Made in the Indo-Pacific Oceans during the Voyage of H.M.S. Alert, 1881–82. London : British Museum. (described as Doryichthys serialis)

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

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) 

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 

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.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Moore, G.I., Morrison, S.M., Hutchins, B.J., Allen, G.R. and Sampey, A. 2014. Kimberley marine biota. Historical data: fishes. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 84: 161-206

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

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

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37282042

Biology:Males brood the eggs

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern; EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:1-27 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:6.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map