AppearanceThe 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.
NamingOther 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.
DistributionIndo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to New Caledonia, north to southern Japan; Mariana Islands in Micronesia.
BehaviorFound 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.
HabitatInhabits 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.
ReproductionFemales 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.
FoodCarnivore - 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.
UsesSometimes collected for sale in the aquarium industry or sold for use as medicine or curios.
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