Microphis cuncalus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Microphis cuncalus (Hamilton, 1822)
Common Name(s):
English Crocodile-tooth Pipefish
Doryichthys chokderi Ataur Rahman, 1976
Doryichthys cuncalus (Hamilton, 1822)
Paramicrophis schmidti Klausewitz, 1955
Syngnathus cuncalus Hamilton, 1822
Taxonomic Source(s): Dawson, C.E. 1985. Indo-Pacific Pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA.
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-06
Assessor(s): Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Contributor(s): Ng, H.H., Molur, S., Rema Devi, K.R., Vishwanath, W., Allen, D.J., Dahanukar, N. & Arunachalam, M.

Microphis cuncalus is a freshwater and estuarine species that inhabits waters in India, Bangladesh, and possibly Sri Lanka. Although there have been concerns regarding pollution from human developments and localized extirpations due to dams, the species is widespread and not thought to be under threat. Therefore this species is listed as Least Concern. Further research is needed to better understand population size, trends in abundance, and threats to this species. 

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Microphis cuncalus was described from the estuaries near Kolkata, India (Hamilton 1822). This species is said to be found throughout India and Bangladesh and on Sri Lanka (Dawson 1985). However, Pethiyagoda (1991) does not record the presence of this species in Sri Lanka, so the record from this island is highly doubtful.
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; India (Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal)
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
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 M. cuncalus. Further research is needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Microphis cuncalus inhabits freshwater rivers, streams, and estuaries. Little is known about its feeding, but it likely consumes prey similar to that of other pipefishes such as small crustaceans (Kendrick and Hyndes 2005). They are ovoviviparous, and the males brood the embryos beneath their trunk prior to giving live birth (Breder and Rosen 1966, Dawson 1985).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is sporadically caught and exported as an aquarium fish. It may also be targeted for trade as curios or for use in traditional medicines (Vincent et al. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are unknown, since there is little information on the biology of this species and therefore the impact of potential threats (especially those of an anthropogenic nature) remains unknown. The current threats to aquatic biodiversity in all of its known distribution have also not been adequately identified. Chhapgar and Pande (1986) report the extinction of a population of M. cuncalus from the Bhatsa River in western Maharashtra state in India as a result of the construction of the Pise Dam, but this likely represents an isolated case and dam construction is not likely to be a large-scale threat to this species. Pollution is also likely to threaten its habitat, but this has not been quantified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Microphis cuncalus, and it is not mentioned in any international legislation or trade regulations. It's unclear whether the species occurs in any protected areas. Further research is needed to determine habitat use by and threats to this species.

Citation: Pollom, R. 2016. Microphis cuncalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T166639A60595076. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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