Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on the continental shelf (Ref. 75154). Males may have developed brood pouches at about 4.5 cm TL (Ref. 5316). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205).
  • Dawson, C.E. 1985 Indo-Pacific pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. (Ref. 5316)
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Distribution

Range Description

Currently known only from few (i.e., <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.

Follow the link below for map of the known range of I. australe.
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Australia: South Australia and Wesern Australia.
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Eastern Indian Ocean: South and Western Australia.
  • Dawson, C.E. 1985 Indo-Pacific pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. (Ref. 5316)
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 55 mm TL
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Max. size

5.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5316))
  • Dawson, C.E. 1985 Indo-Pacific pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. (Ref. 5316)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

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)). With the exception that it is known to be a pouch brooder, nothing is known of the reproductive biology or diet of A. australe.

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.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Male carries the eggs in a brood pouch (Ref. 205).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Kendrick, A.J. & Morgan, S.K.

Reviewer/s
Morgan, S.K. & Martin-Smith, K. (Syngnathid Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
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 (2.5–12.5x10-5 ind m-2), even relative to other syngnathids (see Habitat and Ecology). These surveys may or may not have been carried out in favourable habitat for A. australe. 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 (Foster and Vincent 2004). This is supported by the fact that two male specimens collected near Carnac Island carried broods of 10 and 80 eggs (Kendrick, unpublished data). It is not known how widely the young of A. australe disperse, nor whether this brooding species may be particularly susceptible to localized extinction.
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Population

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.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
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.
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Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
1. No legislation has been enacted to specifically protect this species.
2. No Australian Society for Fish Biology listing.
3. This species may occur in the Marmion and Shoalwater Islands Marine Parks, which are located some kilometers from Carnac Island in Western Australia.
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Wikipedia

Southern little pipehorse

The southern little pipehorse (Idiotropiscis australe) is a species of fish in the Syngnathidae family. It is endemic to Australia. Its natural habitats are open seas, shallow seas, subtidal aquatic beds, and coral reefs.[2] It camouflages amongst species of red algae.[3] It is threatened by habitat loss.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kendrick, A.J. & Morgan, S.K. (2006). "Idiotropiscis australe". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Idiotropiscis australe" in FishBase. May 2013 version.
  3. ^ Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, 2011, Southern Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis australe, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Oct 2014, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4424
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