Hippichthys penicillus

10. September 2010

Hippichthys penicillus Hippichthys penicillus

Currently we were able to import a new species of freshwater pipefish from India: Hippichthys penicillus. Basically speaking, there are two types of pipefish. First, the ones that swim free in the water column, imitating plant material (sticks etc.). Twice the ones that are bottom-dwellers and crawl like snakes between plants, stones, roots etc.. The most important aquarium pipe fish of that group is Enneacampus ansorgii.

The species belonging to Hippichthys are in between those extremes. This is also true for their habitat. They can be found in pure marine, brackish water and pure freshwater environments. The technical term for that is euryhaline.

From an aquarists point of view it is best to keep them in weakly brackish water (about 3-5 grams salt per litre). The benefit of the salt is that Artemia, they primary food resource for pipefish kept in aquaria, will stay longer alive; moreover any potential salt requirement by the pipefish is thus fulfilled. Please use exclusively salt that is manufactured for reef aquaria!

The males of Hippichthys penicillus can be easily recognized by the prominent fold on the belly which serves as a brood chamber. Besides this they also differ from the females in respect of coloration. Males are deep black with silver shining spots, wheras the females are much duller coloured. The fish become mature at a length of 6-8 cm, but according to literature they may reach a maximum length of 18 cm.

For our customers: the fish have code 421522 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Hippichthys: ancient Greek, means “horse-fish”. penicillus: Latin, means “brush”; this name was given referring to the finray-structures at the end of the tail. Microphis: ancient Greek, means “little snake”. Enneacampus: ancient Greek, means “with nine coves”, probably referring to the cross section. ansorgii: dedication name.

Suggestion of a common name: Night sky pipefish

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Indien / India
Verfügbare Größe in cm 6-8