Madura Pipefish

Hippichthys heptagonus
Madura Pipefish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Hippichthys heptagonus
Other names Freshwater Pipefish, Belly Pipefish, Mandura Pipefish, Reticulated Freshwater Pipefish, Short Snout Pipefish, Small Headed Pipefish
Size Up to 15 cm (5.9 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Brackish water estuaries & mangroves to freshwater creeks & rivers
Depth Range 0 - 20 m (65 ft)
Madura Pipefish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • They are found in shallow waters along the southern and western coasts of Australia, from Shark Bay in Western Australia to Jervis Bay in New South Wales.
  • Madura Pipefish have a long, slender body with a tubular snout and a small mouth at the end. They are generally brown or grey in colour, with small spots or stripes on their body.
  • They have a unique swimming style – they move through the water by undulating their body from side to side, rather than using their fins.
  • These fish are typically found in seagrass beds, where they blend in with their surroundings to avoid predators.
  • Madura Pipefish are ovoviviparous, which means that their eggs develop inside the female’s body until they hatch and are released as fully-formed young.
  • The male Madura Pipefish carries the fertilised eggs in a specialised pouch on his belly until they are ready to hatch. The male can carry up to 100 eggs at a time, and may carry them for several weeks before they hatch.
  • Madura Pipefish feed on small crustaceans and other tiny animals, which they suck into their mouth using their tube-like snout.
  • Their lifespan is not well documented, but it is believed to be around 1-5 years.
Species Interaction


Madura Pipefish are typically found in shallow waters, such as seagrass beds, along the the coasts of Australia. Snorkelers can explore these areas and look for the distinctive shape and coloration of the Madura Pipefish, which can sometimes be difficult to spot among the seagrass.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Syngnathiformes

Family: Syngnathidae

Genus: Hippichthys

Species: Hippichthys heptagonus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Madura Pipefish is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that the species is not currently facing any major threats and is considered to have a stable population trend.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Shy

Location: Seagrass Beds

Danger: None

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!