Barbed Pipefish, Bhanotia fasciolata (Duméril 1870)

Other Names: Corrugated Pipefish

A Barbed Pipefish, Bhanotia fasciolata, from Phuket, Thailand. Source: Rick Winterbottom. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike


A brownish pipefish with four indistinct brown bars across lower half of snout, a broad diagonal pale bar from the eye to the gill cover, and two narrow pale bars on gill cover.

This small pipefish prefers silty and muddy habitats in tide-pools and shallow reefs.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, Bhanotia fasciolata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Barbed Pipefish, Bhanotia fasciolata (Duméril 1870)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Scott Reef, WA. Found elsewhere in the tropical East Indo-West Pacific, from the Andaman Sea to Vanuatu, including Northwestern Australia; inhabits inshore coral reefs, tide-pools and mudflats at 3-25 m.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin 29-35; Pectoral fin 13-16; Caudal fin 10; Trunk rings 14-16; Tail rings 39-42.

Head and body: HL 9.1-11.0 in SL; snout length 2.6-2.9 in HL, snout depth 2.1-3.1 in snout length; snout with 8 spinelike projections on dorsal midline and an interrupted row of slightly larger spines on either side of median series; snout ridge diagonal anterodorsally; opercle with complete longitudinal ridge. Most head and body ridges finely denticulate; free bony plates in the opercular membrane of adults are readily seen under low magnification.

Dorsal fin origin on trunk, fin base not elevated; anal fin very short.


To 9 cm SL


Overall brownish with four indistinct brown bars across lower half of snout and suborbital, bars continuing across venter; broad diagonal pale bar from eye crosses anterior part of opercle, usually with a median lateral row of dark spots; opercle usually with two narrow pale bars; sometimes with ocellate spots on lower lateral scutella of trunk.


Preys on small invertebrates such as crustaceans.


Males brood the eggs in an inverted closed brood pouch on the underside; males brooding at 64 mm SL.

Eggs - spherical, arranged in two uncrowded parallel rows in either one or two layers in the brood pouch.

Larvae - pelagic and morphologically similar to the adults at birth.


Of no interest to fisheries.


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) Marine Listed (EPBC Act 1999 Marine Species).


Planktonic specimens may retain post larval characters to lengths approaching 6 cm SL. They differ from demersal specimens in having lateral spines on the snout, a prominent median dorsal ridge, a longer more slender snout and lack bony plates in the gill membrane.

Similar Species

B. nuda has 14 trunk rings and 13 pectoral rays compared to 15 for both counts in B. fasciolata. B. nuda lacks spines on the diagonal anterodorsal snout ridges and bars on lower half of snout. Free bony plates are visible in the opercular membranes of B. fasciolata above 55 mm SL but are lacking in B. nuda.

Species Citation

Syngnathus fasciolatus Duméril 1870, Sber. K. Akad. Wiss. Wien 57: 112, fig. 38, Java, Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson

Barbed Pipefish, Bhanotia fasciolata (Duméril 1870)


Allen, G.R. & M. Adrim. 2003. Coral reef fishes of Indonesia. Zool. Stud. 42(1): 1-72.

Allen, G.R. & R.H. Kuiter. 1995. Bhanotia pauciradiata, a new species of pipefish (Syngnathidae) from Flores, Indonesia. Rev. Fr. Aquariol. 21(3-4): 75-76.

Dawson, C. E. 1977. The pipefish name Syngnathus corrugatus Weber, a junior synonym of Bhanotia fasciolata (Duméril). Copeia 1977(4): 786-788.

Dawson, C.E. 1978. Review of the Indo-Pacific Pipefish genus Bhanotia, with description of B. nuda n. sp. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 91(2): 392-407.

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

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Bhanotia fasciolata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Available from: Accessed 2008-04-15@09:38:36.

Duméril, A.H.A. 1870. Histoire naturelle des poissons, ou ichthyologie générale. Tome Second. Ganoïdes, Dipnés, Lophobranches. Hist. Nat. Poiss. Ichth. Gen. 2: 1-624, Atlas: pp. 9-12, Pls. 15-26.

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.

IUCN. (2007). 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK. 240 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. & T. Tonozuka. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 1. Eels- Snappers, Muraenidae - Lutjanidae. Zoonetics, Australia. 302 pp.

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282104

Biology:Males brood eggs in pouch

Conservation:EPBC Act - Marine Listed

Depth:3-25 m

Habitat:Coral reef

Max Size:9 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map