Rough-ridge Pipefish, Cosmocampus banneri (Herald & Randall 1972)

Other Names: Banner's Pipefish, Roughridge Pipefish

A Rough-ridge Pipefish, Cosmocampus banneri, at Anilao, Philippines, April 2015. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


A whitish pipefish with a shortish snout, a very small tail fin, and a series of dark spots or diffuse dusky bars on the lower sides behind the head. This small secretive species is rarely seen.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, Cosmocampus banneri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Rough-ridge Pipefish, Cosmocampus banneri (Herald & Randall 1972)

More Info


Clerke Reef, Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea;also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to Fiji and the Marshall Islands, north to southern Japan. Rough-ridge Pipefish usually live amongst rubble or in crevices mostly on outer reefs, at 2-30 m.


Dorsal fin 16-20; Anal fin 3-4; Pectoral fin 11-14; Caudal fin 10; Trunk rings 15; Tail rings 27-30.

Head length 7.1-8.3 in SL, snout short, length 2.2-2.7 in HL; snout depth 2.8-3.6 in snout length. Snout spine present; median dorsal snout ridge with 2-4 subtriangular dorsal projections; dermal flaps present on eye and elsewhere on head. Superior trunk and tail ridges discontinuous; lateral trunk ridge straight, ending near the anal ring; inferior trunk and tail ridges continuous.



Pale, even whitish, usually with some dusky bars or spots on the belly and lower trunk behind head. There are usually indications of brown bars on ventral surface of the pectoral ring and on the lower half of side and ventral surface of other trunk rings.


Likely to feed on tiny crustaceans.


The sexes are separate and the eggs are brooded by males in a pouch under the tail that protects the dorsal surface and side of the egg mass, but the ventral surface is exposed; males may begin brooding at 23.5 mm TL. The eggs are deposited in 2-17 transverse rows within a gelatinous matrix and the brood size is at least 58 eggs.


Of no interest to fisheries or aquaculture.


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


Cosmocampus is from the Greek kosmos meaning order, organization or ornament, and kampos meaning sea-animal. Named after Dr. A. H. Banner who collected the holotype.

Species Citation

Syngnathus banneri Herald & Randall 1972, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 39(11): 135, fig 4, about 1/2 mile off the harbor of Ishigaki city, Ishigaki Island, Ryukyu Islands, depth 20-35 feet.


Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson

Rough-ridge Pipefish, Cosmocampus banneri (Herald & Randall 1972)


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

Allen, G.R. & W.F. Smith-Vaniz. 1994. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Res. Bull. 412: 21 pp.

Allen, G.R., R.C. Steene & M. Orchard. 2007. The Fishes of Christmas Island. 2nd Ed. Christmas Island Natural History Association. 284 p.

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

Dawson, C.E. 1986. Family No. 145: Syngnathidae (pp. 445-458). In: Smith, M.M. & P.C. Heemstra (eds). Smiths' Sea Fishes. Macmillan South Africa, Johannesburg. 1047 pp, 144 pls.

Dawson, C.E. & J.E. Randall. 1975. Notes on Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Pisces: Syngnathidae) with description of two new species. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 88(25): 263-280.

Herald E.S. & J.E. Randall. 1972. Five new Indo-Pacific pipefishes. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 39(11): 121-140, figs. 1-6.

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.

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. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219.

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia, 334 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. Canberra, Environment Australia 375 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282053

Conservation:EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:2-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated, rubble areas

Max Size:6 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map