Microphis insularis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Microphis insularis (Hora, 1925)
Common Name(s):
English Andaman Pipefish
Doryichthys insularis Hora, 1925
Oostethus insularis (Hora, 1925)
Taxonomic Source(s): Dawson, C.E. 1984. Revision of the Genus Microphis Kaup (Pisces: Syngnathidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 35(2): 117-181.
Taxonomic Notes: Dawson (1984) and most later authors consider Oostethus to be a subgenus of Microphis based on morphology and meristics. Kottelat (2013) resurrected Oostethus with no annotation or justification.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-06-02
Assessor(s): Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Contributor(s): Boguskaya, N. & Rema Devi, K.R.
Microphis insularis is a freshwater pipefish species that is endemic to the Andaman Islands. It has been assessed as Vulnerable due to its restricted extent of occurrence (less than 20,000 km²), the fact the species is found in less than ten locations, and the presence of ongoing threats to the species. These threats include a continuing decline in habitat quality due to increasing human population and riparian development.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Microphis insularis is endemic to streams and rivers in the Andaman Islands (Dawson 1984, 1985).
Countries occurrence:
India (Andaman Is.)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:14800
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Number of Locations:4-10Continuing 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 Microphis insularis. The species is noted as being 'very rare' (Palavai and Davidar 2009), and populations are inferred to be declining as a result of ongoing habitat degradation (see Threats section). Further research is needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance for this species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Microphis insularis is a demersal and potamodromous species which inhabits rivers and streams (Dawson 1985). Little is known about feeding, but the species likely feeds on small crustaceans and/or fish larvae as other pipefishes do (Kendrick and Hyndes 2005). It is an ovoviviparous fish, and males carry the eggs in a brood pouch under their tail prior to giving live birth (Breder and Rosen 1966, Dawson 1985). They grow to be about 16 cm in length, with males brooding around 10 cm (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 recorded in trade, but pipefishes in general are taken for the aquarium and traditional medicine trades (Vincent et al. 2011). This species may be involved but levels of offtake are unknown.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Microphis insularis is likely threatened by invasive species, flow alteration, and habitat degradation (Rajan and Sreeraj 2014). Increasing human settlement in the Andaman and Nicobar islands from the mainland, as well as refugees from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, have lead to damaging activities such as exploitation and clearing of mangroves for agriculture and housing, illegal logging, and development of aquaculture. Development of tourism and recreational activities also exerts stress on the freshwater natural resources of these islands.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species specific conservation measures in place. This species does not occur in any protected areas, and it is not mentioned in any international legislation and/or trade agreements.

Citation: Pollom, R. 2017. Microphis insularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T169612A67620829. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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