Pipefish Photos from our Port Hughes Dive

February 3, 2016 | Posted in: Bony fishes, Syngnathids

As reported in the article titled “Our ‘Pipefish’ Dive at Port Hughes”, we held a dive at the Port Hughes jetty on 2nd January 2016. The divers on the day consisted of Peter Gower, Chris Hall, Kevin Smith & I. A friend of Chris, and Kevin’s mother, were also there with us.

Kevin Smith reported seeing hundreds of juvenile Southern Gulf Pipefish, Stigmatopora narinosa, much less of Spotted pipefish, Stigmatopora argus, three small schools of Brushtail pipefish, Leptoichthys fistularis and a Port Phillip pipefish, Vanacampus phillipi. Kevin has kindly sent us six of his pipefish photos taken on the day featuring each of the species.

Stigmatopora argus (K.Smith)

A Spotted pipefish, Stigmatopora argus on Scaberia (K.Smith)

 

Stigmatopora narinosa (K.Smith)

A group of juvenile Southern Gulf pipefish, Stigmatopora narinosa (K.Smith)

 

Stigmatopora narinosa (K.Smith)

Southern Gulf pipefish, Stigmatopora narinosa (K.Smith)

 

Leptoichthys-fistularius (K.Smith)

A Brushtail pipefish, Leptoichthys fistularius (K.Smith)

 

Vanacampus phillipi (K.Smith)

A Port Phillip pipefish, Vanacampus phillipi (K.Smith)

 

Southern Gulf pipefish were described by former members Robert Browne and Kevin Smith in 2007 – see http://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/3660/64-browne-smith.pdf . Many thanks go to Kevin for providing his pipefish photos to us.

The header photo was taken by Steve Reynolds on the day of the dive at Port Hughes.

Stigmatopora narinosa (K.Smith)

Southern Gulf pipefish, Stigmatopora narinosa (K.Smith)

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

3 Comments

  1. David S Muirhead
    February 4, 2016

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    Great shots Kevin and Steve. Kevin, a few comments/observations/speculations:
    #Interesting to note the single very juvenile S.narinosa approx lower Right centre in your 4th image(mainly of juv. brushtail pipefishes),
    #Agree re Port Phillip Pipefish in your 5th image but wish to note [**for general interest only**] the false visual impression of dermal appendages dorsolaterally, which if real (but importanty they are not real, as best I can see) would lean one towards an immature Tiger Pipefish. Yet another demo of how difficult it can be to visually ID pipefish such as these in the field.
    #In two of your images there is such a concentration of one or several species (Image 5 has @ least 3 juv. S.narinosa close to the Port Phillip pipefish, and image 6 has so many juv. S.narinosa in such a small field, and in both images there is benthos potentially suited to P.serenus shrimps i.e. not purely seagrass habitat). In one of these 2 images I fancy I can detect the presence of P.serenus albeit fuzzy @ best, so I speculate as to whether these pipefish are aggregating at rockpool shrimp cleaning stations. Food for thought, anyway.These shrimp clean a number of shallow reef/rubble fish species so it must be quite likely they clean pipefish, and I stress to all readers this is mere conjecture by me at this time,but time will tell…?!

  2. David S Muirhead
    February 4, 2016

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    Errors numerical re images list in my above comment:
    1st#:I mean 4th not 3rd image
    3rd#:I mean images 5 and 6 not 4 and 6.
    Apols,Dave M

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