Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Cosmocampus brachycephalus, Crested Pipefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body & tail short, thick
snout v short, upturned
crest on head
brown + broken black lines
tail rings 26-27

Cosmocampus brachycephalus (Poey, 1868)

Crested Pipefish

Body and tail short and thick; snout very short, upturned; prominent bony crest on top of head; operculum with longitudinal ridge angled up towards gill opening; dorsal 22-23 rays; anal 2-3 rays; pectoral 11-15 rays; no pelvic fins; tail 10 rays; upper trunk and tail ridges not joined; ridge on flank of body straight, ends near anus; lower trunk and tail ridges joined; main body ridges sometimes with spines at end of rings; usually with skin flaps; trunk rings 16-18; 0-2.75 trunk rings under dorsal fin; tail rings 26-27; brood pouch under tail, with folds.

Body brown, with broken black lines; underside of head barred.

Reaches 12 cm.

Lives in vegetated bottoms, including seagrass beds and mangrove lagoons with clear water and sandy bottoms.

Depth range: 0-50 m, nearshore.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 50