DORYRHAMPHUS MELANOPLEURA - (BLEEKER, 1858)
Picture courtesy of: Yves Thévenet
Actinopterygii (Class) > Syngnathiformes (Order) > Syngnathidae (Family) > Syngnathinae (Subfamily) > Doryrhamphus (Genus)
Syngnathe à bande bleue du Pacifique, Bluestripe Pipefish, Black-sided Pipefish, Pacific bluestripe pipefish, Pacific Blue-stripe Pipefish, Blaustreifen-Seenadel, Pez pipa chico, Hibashi-yôji, ヒバシヨウジ, 黑腹海龍, 藍帶矛吻海龍,
Dorsal soft rays (total): 21-29; Anal soft rays: 4; Pectoral ray: 19-23; Body rings: 17-19; Tail rings: 13-17. Body relatively short, trunk much longer than tail; snout length: 2.0-2.4 in HL; blade-like ridge dorsally on snout with about 6 pointed projections; males usually with a fleshy flap on each ventrolateral ridge of snout. Superior trunk and tail ridges discontinuous; lateral trunk ridge confluent with inferior tail ridge on second tail ring; principle ridges of trunk and tail with a spine on each ring. Max length: 7.0 cm TL. Depth range: 2 - 50 m.
Orange-yellow with broad dark blue dorsal stripe continuing darker and narrower onto head to front of snout; caudal fin orange with large reddish brown blotches and white upper and lower margins.
Doryrhamphus: from Greek, dory = lance, spear + from Greek, rhamphos = bill, beak.
melanopleura: from Greek, melas = black + from Greek, pleura = side.
Original description: Syngnathus melanopleura Bleeker, 1858 - Type locality: Nova Selma, Cocos-Keeling Islands, eastern Indian Ocean.
Northeastern Indian Ocean and western and central Pacific: Indonesia east to Hawaiian Islands and Tuamotu Archipelago, north to southern Japan, south to Great Barrier Reef (Australia) New Caledonia, Tonga, and Rapa.
Inhabits coastal to outer reefs, in a variety of habitats including lagoons, reef flats, reef slopes and walls, channels, coral gutters, usually in or near crevices and caves into which they can retreat when threatened. Feeds on planktonic micro-crustaceans as well as feeding by cleaning parasites off other fishes such as moray eels. Bluestripe Pipefish often hover in pairs, advertising their presence as cleaner fishes by bobbing up and down and swimming in a waving motion above the substrate.
Reproduction: Reproductive mode – ovoviviparous (gives birth to live young). Males and females form monogamous pairs. Males brood the eggs on the abdomen in a semi-exposed pouch with lateral skin flaps; males begin brooding at 33 mm TL.
Eggs: Around 1.0–1.2 mm in diameter. The brood size ranges between 80–150 eggs.
Larvae: Morphologically similar to adults at birth with a short pelagic stage. Very young larvae (8–13mm) are planktonic, larger stages may settle around 17–19mm, as they have the striped coloration of adults.
Sometimes collected for the aquarium trade, and sold both as curios and for the Traditional Chinese Medicine trade.
Doryrhamphus abbreviatus (Dawson, 1981) - Reported from Northern Red Sea endemic.
Doryrhamphus excisus (Kaup, 1856) - Reported from Southern Red Sea, Indo-Pacific.
Doryrhamphus extensus (Snyder, 1911) - Reported from Western North Pacific: Taiwan to southern Japan.
Doryrhamphus japonicus (Araga & Yoshino, 1975) - Reported from Western Pacific: Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea northward to Japan.