Widebody Pipefish, Stigmatopora nigra Kaup 1856


Other Names: Wide-bodied Pipefish

A Widebody Pipefish, Stigmatopora nigra, at Clifton Gardens, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:

A slender pipefish with a variable colour pattern ranging from overall greenish to brownish and even bright red depending on the habitat. Females have a series of bark bands across the underside of the wide part of the body, and often an orange line along the side. Wide-body Pipefish lack a caudal fin, and cling to seagrass fronds and algae with their almost prehensile tails.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Stigmatopora nigra in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/4039

Widebody Pipefish, Stigmatopora nigra Kaup 1856

More Info


Distribution

Mooloolaba, Queensland, to Shark Bay, Western Australia, including around Tasmania. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand. Commonly inhabits sheltered seagrass and algal beds from the intertidal to depths of 35 m.

Features

Dorsal fin 35-47; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 11-1; Body rings 16-19 + 67-79; Subdorsal rings 13.50-10.50 + 4.25-8.75 = 15.75-20.75.

Size

To 16 cm.

Colour

The species varies in colour from overall greenish to brownish depending on the habitat, and females often have an orange line along the side. 

Feeding

Feeds mostly on tiny crustaceans, especially planktonic copepods, sucking them in through the long snout.

Biology

During the breeding season, females develop a swollen wide trunk (hence the common name). Males brood the developing eggs in a small pouch on the underside of the tail immediately behind the tiny anal fin. Up to 41 eggs are incubated by the male in a brood pouch formed from laterally expanded flaps of skin on the underside of the tail.

Conservation

IUCN: Least ConcernEPBC Act 1999: A Marine Listed species in Australian waters.

Similar Species

Most similar to the Spotted Pipefish, Stigmatopora argus. The two species can be easily distinguished by the placement of the dorsal fin. In the Wide-body Pipefish, the dorsal fin is positioned on the 5th-7th body rings, vs on the 11th-13th body rings of the Spotted Pipefish. The Spotted Pipefish is usually greenish and peppered with tiny black spots on the dorsal surface of the body.

Species Citation

Stigmatophora nigra Kaup, 1856, Cat. Lophobranch. Fish Brit. Mus.: 53. Type locality: Tasmania.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Widebody Pipefish, Stigmatopora nigra Kaup 1856

References


Browne, R.K. & Smith, K. 2007. A new pipefish, Stigmatopora narinosa (Syngnathidae) from South Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 64: 1-6

Carlyle, C. & Pollom, R. 2016. Stigmatopora nigra (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T88343011A115515048. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T88343011A88343018.en. Downloaded on 03 March 2020.

Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 1. The Melbourne fish market. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 29-242 1 pl. (described as Stigmatophora boops)

Dawson, C.E. 1982. Review of the Indo-Pacific pipefish genus Stigmatopora (Syngnathidae). Records of the Australian Museum 34(13): 575-605 figs 1-11

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.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.

Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2nd edn, 624 pp.

Edgar, G.J. & Shaw, C. 1995. The production and trophic ecology of shallow-water fish assemblages in southern Australia II. Diets of fishes and trophic relationships between fishes and benthos at Western Port, Victoria. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 194: 83–106.

Gomon, M.F. & Neira, F.J. 1998. Syngnathidae: pipefishes and seahorses. pp. 122-131, in F.J. Neira, A.G. Miskiewicz & T. Trnski (eds) Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. University of Western Australia Press. 474 pp.

Howard, R.K. & Koehn, J.D. 1985. Population-dynamics and feeding ecology of pipefish (Syngnathidae) associated with eelgrass beds of Western-Port, Victoria. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 361–370.

Hutchins, J.B. 2005. Checklist of marine fishes of Recherche Archipelago and adjacent mainland waters. pp. 425-449 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I. & Kendrick, G.A. (eds). Proceedings of the Twelfth International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Esperance, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Jenkins, G.P. & Sutherland, C.R. 1997. The influence of habitat structure on nearshore fish assemblages in a southern Australian embayment: colonisation and turnover rate of fishes associated with artificial macrophyte beds of varying physical structure. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 218: 103–125.

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)

Kaup, J.J. 1853. Uebersicht der Lophobranchier. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 19(1): 226-234 (as Stigmatopora niger, name only and not available)

Kaup, J.J. 1856. Catalogue of the Lophobranchiate Fish in the Collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum 76 pp. 4 pls. See ref at BHL

Kendrick, A.J. & Hyndes, G.A. 2005. Variations in the dietary compositions of morphologically diverse syngnathid fishes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 72: 415–427.

Kuiter, R.H. 2008. Family Syngnathidae. In Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast. Sydney: Reed New Holland.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

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. Seaford, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 331. 

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

Mobley, K.B., Morrongiello, J.R., Warr, M., Bray, D.J.& Wong, B.B.M. 2018. Female ornamentation and the fecundity trade‐off in a sex‐role reversed pipefish. Ecology and Evolution 8: 8516–9525. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4459 Open access

Parkinson, K.L., Booth, D.J. & Lee, J.E. 2012. Validation of otolith daily increment formationfor two temperate syngnathid fishes: the pipefishes Stigmatopora argus and Stigmatopora nigraJournal of Fish Biology 80: 698–704 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.03194.x

Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs.

Smith, T.M., Hindell, J.S., Jenkins, G.P., Connolly, R.M. & Keough, M.J. 2011. Fine-scale spatial and temporal variations in diets of the pipefish Stigmatopora nigra within seagrass patches. Journal of Fish Biology 78: 1824–1832.

Steffe, A.S., Westoby, M. & Bell, J.D. 1989. Habitat selection and diet in two species of pipefish from seagrass: sex differences. Marine Ecology Progress Series 55: 23–30.

Stewart, A.L. 2015. Families Syngnathidae, Aulostomidae, Fistulariidae, Macroramphosidae. pp. 1050-1072 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37282018

Biology:Males brood eggs

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern; EPBC Marine Listed

Depth:0-35 m

Habitat:Seagrass, algal beds

Max Size:16 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map