The messmate pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus) is a species of marine fish in the family Syngnathidae.
Short description - Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 23-33; Anal soft rays: 4. Fine lines on the head and series of spots over the back and along trunk; caudal fin mainly pink.
Size - Max length : 19.8 cm SL male/unsexed.
Messmate pipefish habitat
Corythoichthys haematopterus inhabits shallow coastal waters to 20 metres depth. Habitats the species can be found in include sand, silt, corals, rubble, reef flats, algae, mangroves, and seagrasses (Blaber 1986, Kuiter 2000, Nakamura et al. 2003, Sogabe and Yanagisawa 2008, Allen and Erdmann 2012). The species feeds on zooplankton and small zoobenthos (Sano et al. 1984), and grows to be about 20 cm SL. The species is ovoviviparous and exhibits male pregnancy and strict monogamy. Females compete for and guard males, and have larger home ranges. They mate multiple times per season, with gestation lasting 9-19 days (Matsumoto and Yanagisawa 2001). Pair bonds are maintained through the non-breeding season, which lasts from October to April in southern Japan (Sogabe and Yanagisawa 2008). Mated pairs have been shown to exhibit mate recognition (Sogabe 2011). Males brood eggs under their tail until giving birth to live young (Dawson 1985).
Corythoichthys haematopterus may be threatened by collection for aquariums and dried traditional medicine trade, however this has not been quantified for this species. It is likely also threatened by the decline of seagrasses and coral reefs (e.g., Bruno and Selig 2007, Waycott et al. 2009), although it is able to utilize several other habitat types. Further research is needed to determine the effects of these threats on wild populations of this species, as this has not yet been quantified.