Solegnathus spinosissimus

Spiny pipehorse
Solegnathus spinosissimus
Solegnathus spinosissimus


Temperate Australasia


Attractively coloured species with a pink or orange body, yellow stripes, and a red patch around the anus. The species lacks the leaf-like appendages of the sea dragons but has a similar method of carrying eggs under the tail. It is restricted to deep water off the Australian mainland where it is generally noticed only when dead animals are washed ashore. Divers in the southeastern Tasmania sometimes see them living alongside sea whips.


Max Size: 49 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 17.7-24°C

Depth: 3-400m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Data Deficient

Occurrence: Widespread (100% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney