Acentronura australe 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Acentronura australe Waite & Hale, 1921
Common Name(s):
English Southern Little Pipehorse, Southern Pygmy Pipehorse
Idiotropiscis australe (Waite & Hale, 1921)
Taxonomic Source(s): Dawson C.E. 1984. A new pipehorse (Syngnathidae) from Western Australia, with remarks on the subgenera of Acentronura. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 31(2): 156–160.
Taxonomic Notes: Dawson (1984) and most later authors consider Idiotropiscus to be a subgenus of Acentronura.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-11
Assessor(s): Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Contributor(s): Kendrick, A.J. & Morgan, S.K.
This species is currently known from very few specimens, and more research is needed on all aspects of its ecology, life history, reproduction, and distribution. The only quantitative estimates of abundance found the species at very low density, even relative to other syngnathids. Similar syngnathids are known to inhabit reef and/or soft-bottom habitats where they are well camouflaged against algae or seagrass (Kuiter 2000, Kuiter 2004). Acentronura (Idiotropiscis) australe is a male pouch brooder and, like some other syngnathid species, may have a low reproductive rate compared to other teleosts. Therefore A. australe is listed as Data Deficient.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Acentronura australe is currently known only from few (<10) specimens collected from several localities in southern Australian marine waters. Records exist from Cape Jervis and St Vincent’s Gulf in South Australia, and in the vicinity of Carnac Island in south-western Western Australia (Dawson 1985).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (South Australia, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
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:The current limited knowledge of the species suggests that it naturally occurs in low abundances in specific habitats. The distribution, size, connectivity and number of populations remain unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
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:Acentronura australe is thought to camouflage itself against algae and seagrass, like many of its closest relatives (Kuiter 2000). Surveys in the vicinity of Carnac Island in Western Australia found that the abundance of this species was qualitatively low, and near Freemantle WA, Kendrick and Hyndes (2003) found densities of ca 1.25x10-4 individuals m-2 on unvegetated bottom, and densities of 2.5x10-5 individuals m-2 in the overall survey area that was largely dominated by seagrasses. These densities are very low, even relative to other syngnathids. In the same study area, densities of another prevalent syngnathid, S. nigra, ranged from 1.3–15 individuals per m² in the various seagrass habitats surveyed (Kendrick and Hyndes 2003). Other syngnathids such as seahorses are known to be rare, but are still found at densities 1-5 orders of magnitude greater than A. australe (from 0.006-1.1 individuals per m² (Foster and Vincent 2004)). The species is ovoviviparous, and males brood the young in a pouch beneath their tail prior to giving live birth (Breder and Rosen 1966, Dawson 1985).

A similar species from eastern Australia, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri (Syndney’s Pygmy Pipehorse), is known to occupy semi-exposed rocky reefs from 6–30 m, sparsely covered with clumps of Rhodophytes which provide good camouflage for the species (Kuiter 2004). Individual animals have been observed to occupy the same small sections of reef for up to eight months at a time (Kuiter 2004), suggesting that I. lumnitzeri, and perhaps also A. australe, may be site faithful.
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species has not been specifically identified in trade, but other syngnathids are often traded globally and in Australia for curios, traditional medicines, and aquarium use (Martin-Smith and Vincent 2006, Vincent et al. 2011). This species may be involved but likely at low levels.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not known to be fished. The only known Western Australian locality of A. australe, in the vicinity of Carnac Island, is adjacent to a major coastal residential and industrial area, which includes heavy port and naval infrastructure. Coastal waters in this area are currently subject to channel dredging and marine shell-sand mining, while marine pollution represents a significant potential threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Acentronura australe. The species is protected throughout its range (along with all syngnathids) by Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999). It is unknown whether it occurs in any protected areas, and it is not mentioned in any international legislation or trade regulations.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Pollom, R. 2016. Acentronura australe. (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T61314A115204241. . Downloaded on 22 September 2017.
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