Bluestripe Pipefish

ANIMAL:
Bluestripe Pipefish Doryrhampus excisus

Type of Animal:
Pipefish

Habitat:
Reefs, reef crevices, tidepools, lagoons, coral gutters

Location(s):
Indo-Pacific & tropical/subtropical Pacific

Appearance:
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

Food/Diet:
Cyclops, mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, copepods, copepod eggs, fish eggs, zooplankton, fish parasites

Status in Wild:
Stable

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


Lifestyle:
Male-female pairs

Additional Info:

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

Height:
Adult: 2.7 in
Young: 0.7 in

Gestation:
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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