Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus
Species Authority: (Bleeker, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Banded Pipefish, Ringed pipefish
French Flûte rayé
Acanthognathus caulleryi Chabanaud, 1929
Dunckerocampus dactyliphorus (Bleeker, 1853)
Syngnathus dactyliophorus Bleeker, 1853
Taxonomic Source(s): Bleeker, P. 1853. Diagnostische beschrijvingen van nieuwe of weinig bekende vischsoorten van Batavia. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 4(3): 451-516.
Taxonomic Notes: Dawson (1985) considered Doryrhamphus species and Dunckerocampus species to be congeneric and classified all species as subgenera under Doryrhamphus. Kuiter (2000), however, recognized Dunckerocampus as a distinct genus from Doryrhamphus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-12-15
Assessor(s): Sorensen, M. & Vincent, A.
Reviewer(s): Curtis, J. & O’Donnell, K.

This species is assessed as Data Deficient as there is no information available that provides estimates of population size or exploitation levels. More study is needed to accurately determine its taxonomic and conservation status. A listing of Data Deficient does not imply that the taxon is not threatened, but instead that not enough information exists to estimate extinction risk. Application of the category Data Deficient is a call for more research and scrutiny to be directed at this species.

The data available currently for this species is restricted to distribution, taxonomy, and some life history parameters. Although this species is captured live for the marine ornamental trade, little information is available regarding the volumes of animals that make up the trade.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus is a pipefish that inhabits tropical and subtropical waters. It is found in the Indo-Pacific region. Its range includes the Red Sea and East Africa in the east to American Samoa in the west (Froese and Pauly 2009). The waters of Japan mark the northern boundary of its range (Matsuda et al. 1984) and it is found in the south as far as Australian waters (Randall et al. 1990, Pogonoski et al. 2002).

Countries occurrence:
Australia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Indonesia; Japan; Marshall Islands; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Samoa; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


There is little information available regarding the population sizes or trends of D. dactyliophorus for its entire known geographic range. Within Australian jurisdictional waters population declines are not suspected (Pogonoski et al. 2002), however no information is available for regions where D. dactyliophorus is caught for the aquarium trade, such as Indonesia and the Philippines (Paulus 1999, Reksodihardjo-Lilley and Lilley 2007).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

A marine species associated with coral reefs (Belmaker et al. 2007), D. dactyliophorus is found in pairs or occasionally in large groups (Kuiter 2000), although aggregations may be composed of juveniles (Kuiter 1996, cited by Pogonoski et al. 2002, p. 136). Males start brooding at 90 mm standard length (Dawson 1985) and eggs are carried on the underside of the abdomen.

Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus is found at depths between five and 56 m. It has also has been observed to live in caves and crevices (Kuiter 2000). This species is found with cleaner shrimps and is assumed to perform some role in cleaning other fishes (Kuiter 2000, Pogonoski et al. 2002).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This taxon is part of the aquarium trade. Wild specimens supply most of the traded stock (Paulus 1999). At one point, D. dactyliophorus was reported to be the most commonly traded pipefish species in the aquarium industry (CITES 2000) although pipefish in general make up a small portion of the marine fish aquarium trade overall (CITES 2002).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There is little information on direct threats to this species, other than the removal of wild individuals for the aquarium trade. There are no catch or trade volume estimates for D. dactyliophorus available.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Public aquariums have had D. dactyliophorus in their collections but not many aquariums actively raise this species in captivity (Koldewey 2005) and commercial breeding of pipefish for sale to aquarists is rare (Seahorse Sanctuary 2008).

This species is found or suspected to occur in the following Australian marine protected areas: Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, Western Australia, Cartier Island Marine Protected Area, off northern WA (unconfirmed), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, Queensland, and Rowley Shoals Marine Park, Western Australia (Pogonoski et al. 2002).

In Australia, this species has been subject to the export controls of the Commonwealth Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982 since 1 January 1998 and is listed as a marine species under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Pogonoski et al. 2002).

Citation: Sorensen, M. & Vincent, A. 2010. Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T6814A12808422. . Downloaded on 05 December 2016.
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