Benedetto's Pipefish, Corythoichthys benedetto Allen & Erdmann 2008

Benedetto's Pipefish, Corythoichthys benedetto, at the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua, Indonesia, December 2016. Source: prilfish / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution

A pale pipefish with about 12 irregular reddish to brownish bars with a narrow white bar behind each, reddish-orange spots on the snout, and a reddish caudal fin with a broad white margin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Corythoichthys benedetto in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2020,

Benedetto's Pipefish, Corythoichthys benedetto Allen & Erdmann 2008

More Info


Occurs on the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Known elsewhere in the Indo-West Pacific: Thailand and Myanmar, Bali and southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, westward to northern Papua New Guinea and south to Australia.
Inhabits algal-covered areas on sheltered reefs, and also among gorgonians - usually solitary or in small groups of up to 4 individuals.


Dorsal fin 24-25; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 3-14; Rings 15 + 37-38 = 52-53; Subdorsal rings 5-6.
Head length (HL) 8.6-8.8 in SL; snout length 2.5-2.7 in HL.


Body with a series of 12 narrow white bars, each preceded by a much broader red bar punctuated with variable-sized white ocelli, and a red caudal fin with a broad, white posterior margin.


Males brood the developing embryos in a bhe brood pouch on the underside of the first 10 tail rings immediately behind the anal fin. The pouch of one male contained 34 ripe eggs with diameter of about 0.7 mm.


The species is named benedetto for Benedetto Craxi, former Prime Minister of Italy.

Similar Species

This species is most similar to the Redbanded Pipefish, Corythoichthys amplexus. C. benedetto is overall pale with about 12 relatively narrow reddish bars. C. amplexus is overall dark brown with 10-13 narrow white bars. C. benedetto also has a red caudal fin with a white posterior margin vs the mostly white caudal fin of C. amplexus. The two species also exhibit a strong modal difference in the number of dorsal-fin rays (24-25 for C. benedetto vs a usual range of 26-28 for C. amplexus).


The species is named benedetto to honour the request of Baroness Angela Vanwright von Berger, who successfully bid to support the conservation of this species at the Blue Auction in Monaco on 20 September 2007 and has given generously to support Conservation International’s Bird’s Head Seascape marine conservation initiative. The name is in honour of her beloved friend Benedetto Craxi, the former Prime Minister of Italy. His love and respect for nature and the sea was just one of his many great qualities

Species Citation

Corythoichthys benedetto Allen & Erdmann 2008, Aqua Int. J. Ichthyol. 13(3-4): 122, figs 1-4. Type locality: NW entrance to Selat Iris, Triton Bay, Papua Barat Province, Indonesia, 14 m.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Benedetto's Pipefish, Corythoichthys benedetto Allen & Erdmann 2008


Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann, 2008. Corythoichthys benedetto, a new pipefish (Pisces: Syngnathidae) from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 13(3-4): 121-126.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and Their Relatives. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 240 pp. (as Corythoichthys sp. 2)

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Seaford, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 331.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37282128

Biology:Males brood the eggs

Conservation:EPBC Act Marine Listed

Depth:5-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:6.8 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map