CORYTHOICHTHYS CONSPICILLATUS - (JENYNS, 1842)
Actinopterygii (Class) > Syngnathiformes (Order) > Syngnathidae (Family) > Syngnathinae (Subfamily) > Corythoichthys (Genus)
Meristics: D 26-36; P 13-17; Trunk rings 15-17; Tail rings 23-39.
Head and body: Head length in SL 6.8-10.9; short snout, 2.3 in HL; snout depth in snout length 3.5-6.3; prenuchal and nuchal ridges smooth; median snout ridge usually with slight dorsal emargination; eye prominent.
Fins: Dorsal fin origin usually before the anterior margin of the first tail ring; dorsal fin base in HL 0.7-1.2.
Head with prominent lateral stripes, snout with red spots; trunk with irregularly banded pattern that may be broken up in large blotches and reticulations, yellow streaks or bands in the pale interspaces; dorsal fin often with rows of translucent spots; males with a blue-black spot on ventral surface of the anal ring. Max length : 18 cm TL (male) - 11.3 cm TL (female).
Corythoichthys is from the Greek, korys, korythos for helmet and the Greek, ichtys meaning fish.
Pacific Ocean: Coral Sea to central Pacific. Reported from New Caledonia.
The blue-black blotch around the anus of the male is more intense during courtship. Sometimes collected for the aquarium trade. Feeds mainly on copepods but also on small isopods and ostracods. lives on seagrass beds or on sand and rubble habitats in sheltered reefs at 1-25 m usualy 0 - 10 m.
Ovoviviparous (gives birth to live young). The eggs are brooded by the males in a pouch under the tail. The pouch protects the dorsal surface and side of the egg mass, leaving the ventral surface exposed. Males begin brooding at 72 mm TL.
Males and females form monogamous pairs and tend to remain within their home range.
Eggs: Eggs are deposited in 2-17 transverse rows within a gelatinous matrix.
Larvae: Planktonic and morphologically similar to the adults; translucent postlarval dorsal and ventral finfolds persist in 39-58 mm SL.
Corythoichthys flavofasciatus is the only pipefish in which males have a persistent blue-black blotch on the ventral surface of the anal ring. Females and small males may be confused with Corythoichthys intestinalis but can be distinguished by the higher average head length in SL ratio of Corythoichthys flavofasciatus (9.2 versus 8.0) and the long median ventral blotch on the head and first trunk ring which is absent in Corythoichthys intestinalis.