Bluestripe Pipefish

Bluestripe Pipefish Doryrhampus excisus

Type of Animal:

Reefs, reef crevices, tidepools, lagoons, coral gutters

Indo-Pacific & tropical/subtropical Pacific

Pipe-like body, orange to reddish body w/ signature bluish mid-lateral stripe, maroon to red fan-like tail w/ variable markings, elongated snout, females have smoother snouts while males have more hooky bumped snouts

Cyclops, mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, copepods, copepod eggs, fish eggs, zooplankton, fish parasites

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, aquaculture, & zoos. Captive breeding reducing demand for wild-caught fish.

Male-female pairs

Additional Info:

Male: Seastallion
Female: Seamare
Young: Fry
Group: Pair

Adult: 2.7 in
Young: 0.7 in

3 weeks

Life Span:
5-10 years

Body Length:
Adult: 2.7 in
Young: 0.7 in

Snout Length:
0.9 in

Tail Length:
1.5 in

Main predators are brain corals, fish, crabs, & large shrimp. Adults will eat fry.

Males are territorial & sometimes fight to the death. Females also fight fiercely.

These fish are in the same family as seahorses.

Also called Blue-and-Orange Cleaner Pipefish, Flagtail Pipefish, Pacific Blue-Stripe Pipefish, & Black-Sided Pipefish.

These fish engage in mutualistic relationships w/ larger fish in which they inspect for parasites, w/ the pipefish getting a meal & the client fish having less parasite. Pairs often have cleaning stations.

Prior to spawning, pairs engage in elaborate courtship dances.

During spawning, females deposit eggs into male’s breeding pouch. After 3 weeks, male gives birth to 40-150 fry.

Most active at dawn & dusk (crepuscular).

Advertise presence to potential clients by bobbing up & down & swimming in waving motion.

While stable, potential threats such as over-collection for aquarium trade, medicine trade, & use as souvenirs loom.

These are very peaceful fish.

Coloration becomes more heightened during courtship.

When fry hatch, they’re free-swimming. 

Use tube-like snout to ingest food.

These fish are very shy & secretive in the wild & in captivity.

They rely on sight to feed.

Fun Fact(s):
They can move their eyes independently.

These are not the easiest fish to keep & are best left for expert aquarists.

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