Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage

Doryrhamphus excisus excisus

Bluestripe Pipefish

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Open this image in pop-up window Image: Adult - abbreviatus subspecies collected from Mangaia 27KB

General Information

COMMON NAMES: Bluestripe Pipefish; German Blaustreifen-Seenadel; French Syngnathe à Bande Bleue

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: NATIVE e.Africa - Tuamotus, Hawai‘i - C.America; n. to s.Japan; s. to New Caledonia

COOK ISLANDS STATUS: Native; S.Group - RR PLUS:; Marine, near-shore, logoon, reef-flat moat, outer reef-slope to 45+m

KEY FEATURES: To 7cm SL. Head 20% SL, trunk much longer than tail. Orange-red with broad blue stripe on sides, tail with encircling white edge. Superior trunk and tail ridges discontinuous; inferior trunk ridge to Anal ring; lateral trunk ridges continuous with inferior tail ridge. Male brood pouch abdominal with lateral skin flaps.

SIMILAR SPECIES: Distinctive within the Cook Islands.

Enlarged Image of 'Doryrhamphus excisus excisus'

Cook Islands Distribution

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Southern Group: Present    Makatea:

Northern Group:

Key to Symbols

Scientific Taxonomy

Doryrhamphus excisus excisus Kaup, 1856
SYNONYMS: Doryrhamphus excisus [O]; Doryichthys excisus; Doryrhamphus melanopleura [of authors]

TAXONOMY: ANIMALIA; CHORDATA; GNATHOSTOMATA (Jawed Vertebrates); PISCES; OSTEICHTHYES; Gasterosteiformes; Syngnathoidei; Syngnatha; Syngnathoidea; SYNGNATHIDAE, Syngnathinae

More Information

GENERAL NOTE: Lives in crevices and caves where its swims with a waving motion to advertise its presence as a cleaner fish. Well known to clean moray eels.

Vouchers & References

Cooks: Dawson 1981 Review of the Indo-Pacific pipefish genus Doryrhamphus ...... Ichthyol. Bull. J.L.B. Smith Inst. Ichthyol. (44):27p. Rarotonga: 2 field sightings, Tikioko lagoon at dusk, 3/2000, ID GM. Mangaia: CAS15816 (DSM58).

text p.86 Myers (1991 2nd Ed.) Fishes of Micronesia
plate 20c Myers (1991 2nd Ed.) Fishes of Micronesia
p.73 Randall et al. (1990) Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef....
p.127 Burgess et al. (1988) Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes (TFH)
plate 16-09 Lieske & Myers (1996) Coral Reef Fishes
plate 18-04 Allen (1997) Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia....
Species No. 253 Munro (1967) Fishes of New Guinea

Data Update History (information):
zTX, zB02, zM02, zD02

Web Resources

Citation Information

McCormack, Gerald (2007) Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga. Online at Copy citation to system clipboard
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