Corythoichthys amplexus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Corythoichthys amplexus Dawson & Randall, 1975
Common Name(s):
English Brown-banded Pipefish, Fijian Banded Pipefish, Redbanded Pipefish
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 01 November 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 01 November 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-09
Assessor(s): Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Contributor(s): Robinson, E., Bartnik, S., Nelson, J., Collette, B.B., Matsuura, K., Fritzsche, R., Allen, G., Carpenter, K.E., Dooley, J. & Morgan, S.K.
Corythoichthys amplexus is a wide-ranging marine pipefish that inhabits coral reefs, rubble, and sandy areas through much of the Indo-West Pacific.The species is likely declining along with ongoing coral reef degradation and loss, but can utilize other habitats. Therefore this species is listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Corythoichthys amplexus is distributed from the Gulf of Oman, the Seychelles, and Sri Lanka to western Thailand, eastwards to the Samoa Islands. This species is distributed in the western Pacific from the Ryukyu Islands to the Great Barrier Reef (Dawson 1977, 1985). Specimens from Madagascar and Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa require verification (GBIF 2016).
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; Fiji; Indonesia; Japan (Nansei-shoto); Malaysia; New Caledonia; Oman; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Samoa; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vanuatu
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – western central; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Lower depth limit (metres):31
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:To date there have been no dedicated surveys or population estimates for C. amplexus. The species is likely declining as a result of habitat degradation and loss. Further research is needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance for this species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Unknown
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Corythoichthys amplexus is a demersal species typically found in the tropics and subtropics to a maximum depth of 31 m. It is known from coral reefs, lagoons, harbours, and open sandy-flats. Also reported on rubble along edges of reefs (Kuiter 2000) and in patch reefs surrounded by sandy flats (Nanami and Nishihira 2002). Little is known about their feeding, but they likely consume small crustaceans such as harpacticoid copepods, gammarid shrimp, and mysids similar to other pipefishes (Kendrick and Hyndes 2005). They are ovoviviparous, and males brood the embryos in a pouch beneath their tail prior to giving live birth (Breder and Rosen 1966, Dawson 1985).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species has not been identified in trade, but unidentified pipefishes in general are traded throughout the region for use as curios, in aquariums, and in traditional medicines (Martin-Smith and Vincent 2006, Vincent et al. 2011). This species may be involved but levels of offtake are unknown.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Corythoichthys amplexus is under threat from ongoing coral reef degradation and loss due to coastal development and pollution, destructive fishing practices such as trawling and dynamite fishing, and the effects of anthropogenic climate change including ocean acidification and rising sea surface temperatures (Bruno and Selig 2007, Carpenter et al. 2008, De'Ath et al. 2012, Normile 2016). The species is able to utilize other habitat types, but may be dependent on corals for parts of its life cycle. Further research is needed to determine how coral decline is affecting populations of C. amplexus. The species may also be targeted and/or caught as bycatch and traded for use as curios, aquarium pets, and traditional medicines (Vincent et al. 2011), but levels of offtake are not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for C. amplexus, however its distribution coincides with a number of marine protected areas including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

All sygnathids are subject to export controls of the Australian Commonwealth Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982 since 1998. Syngnathids are also all listed under section 248 of Australia's EPBC Act 1999, forbidding their harm or capture without permits.

This species is not mentioned in any international legislation or trade regulations.

The species and its coral habitat would likely benefit from international efforts to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.

Citation: Pollom, R. 2016. Corythoichthys amplexus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T155165A67619073. . Downloaded on 19 October 2017.
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