Bentstick pipefish

Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus

The bentstick pipefish occurs in marine waters throughout much of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it lives in bays and estuaries on sand or mud, from the shallows to at least 40 m depth.

Variable in colour from whitish to yellowish, greenish, brown or black, usually with fine speckling and a series of pale saddles. These long slender pipefish often raise themselves off the bottom, bending their heads at an angle to feed on zooplankton drifting by in the current.
I'm a Dragon! Seen during a black water dive, this is most likely a juvenile of Bentstick Pipefish during pelagic phase.  Despite a juvenile, it is around 12-15 cm in length but very slender/thin.  It has 2 long appendages behind its head and a few others towards the tail.  The adult of this species looks more 'ordinary' and usually found on sandy and seagrass bottom, looking like a Stick, hence its common name, Bentstick. Anilao,Batangas,Bentstick Pipefish,Fish,Philippines,Pipefish,Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus

Appearance

The Bentstick Pipefish has a long snout and a head that projects at a slight angle to the body. Its colouration is variable from yellow to brown, red or black.
The species grows to 40cm in length.
Bentstick pipefish (Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus) Batu Lubang Kecil, Lembeh.
This is the same animal as in previous post but full body view. Bentstick pipefish,Geotagged,Indonesia,Spring,Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus

Naming

Other Names: Bend Stick Pipefish, Chocolate Pipefish, Double-ended Pipefish, Ringed Pipefish, Short-tailed Pipefish, Stick Pipefish
Trachyrhamphus is from the Greek trachys meaning rough and rhamphos meaning bill.
bentstick pipefish (Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus) Batu Lubang Kecil, Lembeh.
With a tiny sea star in its face and neck Bentstick pipefish,Geotagged,Indonesia,Spring,Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus

Distribution

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to New Caledonia, north to southern Japan; Mariana Islands in Micronesia.
Bent pipefish (Trachyrhamphus_bicoarctatus) Seen in Dauin, Oct 4, 2012.
Long (40 cm) and thin pipefish, brown or yellow, crawling on the sand. Typical head bent with respect to the body.
Indo-pacific distribution, but it is more likely a species complex, including local species. Coastal bay, Lagoon, Mud, Sand. Mimetizes very well in sea grass bottoms. Bentstick pipefish,Geotagged,Philippines,Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus,pipefish,trachyrhamphus

Behavior

Found singly or in pairs. In strong currents Bentstick Pipefish use their tails to grip the substrate which may lead to abrasion or loss of tail in adults.

Habitat

Inhabits subtidal lagoon and seaward reefs, usually among algae or seagrasses. Most are seen on sand and mud areas, prone to currents; usually soft bottom to about 25 m.

Reproduction

Females lay eggs that are drooded by the male in a semi-enclosed pouch under the anterior portion of the tail; pouch plates a little enlarged; pouch folds present; males likely to be brooding at 26 cm.

Larvae: Newly hatched individuals and pelagic young have 13 pairs of elongate dermal appendages on the back of the body that may aid buoyancy. Individuals up to 10 cm TL have been found amongst plankton.

Food

Carnivore - preys on small crustaceans such as amphipods, caprellids and mysids which are sucked in through the long, tubular snout. Bentstick Pipefish raise their head and face into the water column to capture the passing zooplankton.

Uses

Sometimes collected for sale in the aquarium industry or sold for use as medicine or curios.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3196
http://australianmuseum.net.au/bentstick-pipefish-trachyrhamphus-bicoarctatus
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/5981
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderSyngnathiformes
FamilySyngnathidae
GenusTrachyrhamphus
SpeciesTrachyrhamphus bicoarctatus