Animal Species:Mother-of-pearl Pipefish, Vanacampus margaritifer (Peters, 1869)
The Mother-of-pearl Pipefish is an endemic species that has a long snout and a small caudal fin.
Standard Common Name
The Mother-of-pearl Pipefish has a long snout and a small caudal fin. It is grey to black or brown, often with pale spots on the body and pale dashes along the ventral ridges of the tail.
It grows to 20 cm in length.
It is endemic to Australia, occurring from southern Queensland, down the New South Wales coast and around the south of the country to eastern South Australia. It is not known from the Great Australian Bight, but does occur in south western Western Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
The species occurs in coastal and estuarine waters usually in algal beds and rubbly or muddy areas.
- Dawson, C.E. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology