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Fantail Pipefish - Doryrhamphus paulus Fritzsche, 1980

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  • Offline ThRoewer
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I just got a Fantail Pipefish from Central America, Doryrhamphus paulus, and thought I start a thread about these, as they seem pretty rare in the trade. At least I've been looking for them for a while.
Unfortunately, so far, I was only able to get a single 50 mm (2") male. I still have to find a matching female for him (anyone knowing a source please let me know).

Im following Kuiter (SEAHORSES and their Relatives) with the name, as the current officially taxonomy just using preserved specimen and paying little to no attention to color or geography clearly has it wrong to put this one in with D. excisus. Under D. excisus are at least 6 distinct and geographically isolated species lumped together. Hopefully genetics can bring one day more clarity to this.

The distribution range of D. paulus is reported as the tropical and subtropical East Pacific from the Sea of Cortez in the north to Ecuador in the south, including the Revillagigedo and Galapagos Islands.
Maximum length is given with 85 mm (3"), but I suspect they may get a bit larger.

Based on their distribution range they should be able to handle a wide temperature range from 20 to 30 C (68-86 F). Lower temperatures may be tolerated, but my little guy looked quite stunned by the 19 C cold water it arrived in, while not showing any signs of discomfort at 29 C a few hours later.
It seems to be doing fine at normal reef temperatures (24 - 27 C)

He is still in quarantine with a couple of East Pacific barnacle blennies (Acanthemblemaria hancocki, Ekemblemaria myersi, and another species I haven't yet identified). Once properly quarantined they will all join my two Blue-spotted Jawfish (Opistognathus rosenblatti) in my East Pacific/Baja tank.
  • Doryrhamphus excisus, Doryrhamphus janssi, Doryrhamphus paulus
  • Offline vlangel
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Very cool.  I hope you can find a mate for him. 

I have to confess that I really do not know a lot about pipefish.  I have a banded flagtail pipefish from Ocean Rider where I also got my erectus seahorses.  It is doing well with the instructions I was given from Ocean Rider but I don't even know if it is a male or female.  I bought it because it is captive bred and would not get or give pathogens to my ponies.
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The Lord created the ocean and said it is good!
  • Offline ThRoewer
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With Doryrhamphus excisus and closely related species (D. bicarinatus, D. extensus, D. japonicus, D. malus, D. melanopleura, D. negrosensis, D. paulus, D. sp 1, D. sp 2, D. sp 3) it's fairly easy to sex them. The males have saw tooth like structures on the top of their snout which are lacking with females (first picture - not mine, but the best I could find so far).

Single males or those that not carry eggs also tend to have a form of a humpback and have a somewhat hollow belly (second picture).
Females usually hold themselves more straight and also.

D. janssi is a bit harder to sex as both, male and female, have needle like structures on their snout and hold themselves more straight. With them you need to check their bellies for the presence of a brood flap on the belly.

Dunckerocampus are even more difficult as the males carry the eggs open below their belly. If I remember right, males have 2 rail-like ridges running along the belly where the eggs attach.


 

« Last Edit: 1 year ago by ThRoewer »

  • Doryrhamphus excisus, Doryrhamphus janssi, Doryrhamphus paulus