New Stigmatopora pipefish described


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Australian scientists have described a new species of pipefish in the seas off southern Australia.

The new species is named Stigmatopora narinosa by Robert Browne and Kevin Smith in the latest issue of the Memoirs of Museum Victoria.

Stigmatopora narinosa is distinguished from other members of the genus in having the trunk and tail ridges, and particularly the lateral trunk ridge, indistinct in fresh specimens, the lateral trunk ridge terminating 1.5 body rings posterior to the anal ring, a short, wide and slightly elevated snout, nine sub-dorsal tail rings, and a distinct banded pattern.

The new species is named after the wide and distinctive spatulate shape of its snout, the Latin narinosus meaning broad-nosed.

Stigmatopora narinosa is known only from waters off a 200-km stretch of coastline along the state of South Australia.

All of the fish collected were found in sheltered shallow open water of 1"5 m depth over a substrate of a mosaic of patches of brown algae and seagrass.

Males of this species brood up to 98 eggs from December to March.

For more information, see the paper: Browne, RK and K Smith (2007) A new pipefish, Stigmatopora narinosa (Syngnathidae) from South Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 64, pp. 1"6.