Hippichthys spicifer, commonly known as bellybarred pipefish, banded freshwater pipefish, or blue spotted pipefish, is a species of pipefish of the family Syngnathidae. It is found in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa to Sri Lanka and Samoa. It lives in shallow coastal and estuarine habitats such as mangroves, tidal creeks, and the lower reaches of rivers, where it can grow to lengths of 18 centimetres (7.1 in). It is expected to feed on small crustaceans and mosquito larvae. This species is ovoviviparous, with males brooding eggs in a brood pouch before giving birth to live young. It is reproductively active all year, with males and females reaching sexual maturity at 10.8 and 10 centimetres (4.3 and 3.9 in) respectively. Brood size can vary significantly, from 114 to 1764, with an average of 604.4 plus or minus 322.8.
H. spicifer has a brownish to red back, a bluish stomach, and fine brown and pale mottling. The underside of the front of the body usually has a series of brown to blue bars interspersed with yellow to white bars. The lower part of the head usually has black dots.
- Fritzsche, R.; Matsuura, K.; Collette, B.B.; et al. (2017). "Hippichthys spicifer". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T154855A58313126. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T154855A58313126.en.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Hippichthys spicifer" in FishBase. February 2018 version.
- Dawson, C.E. (1985). Indo-Pacific pipefishes (Red Sea to the Americas). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. ISBN 978-0917235009.
- Thompson, V.J. & D.J. Bray (2016). "Hippichthys spicifer". Fishes of Australia. Museums Victoria. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
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