Samoan Pipefish  |  

Halicampus mataafae


The Samoan pipefish, or brown pipefish (Halicampus mataafae), is a species of marine fish of the family Syngnathidae. It is found in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea, to Sodwana Bay, to Taiwan, the Marshall Islands, and Samoa, where it inhabits tidepools and coral and rocky reefs to depths of 15 metres (49 ft). It is a solitary species with cryptic habits and is rarely observed. It is likely to feed on small crustaceans, and can grow to lengths of 14 centimetres (5.5 in). This species is ovoviviparous, with males carrying the fertilised eggs in a brood pouch, the folds of which fall well short of the centre of the egg-filled pouch, eventually giving birth to live young. The specific name honours Mataafa, a former king of Samoa. It is a listed marine species under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • IUCN Red List Assessment, Halicampus mataafae

    The corals are threatened due to antropogenic pollution; overfishing; and the effects of climate change and ocean acidification (Carpenter et al. 2008).

    One third of reef building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts.