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Species profile—Cleidopus gloriamaris (Australian pineapplefish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses) → Cleidopus gloriamaris (Australian pineapplefish)

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses)
Scientific name
Cleidopus gloriamaris De Vis, 1882
Common name
Australian pineapplefish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
Pineapplefish have a body resembling the skin of a pineapple. It is yellow to orange and covered in plate-like scales. Each scale has a dark, almost black outline. They have a prominent light-emitting organ on the sides of the lower jaw. The light-emitting organ is blue-green in juveniles and red in adults, but the light produced is green. There are slight variations between the eastern and western populations. Australia pineapplefish grow to about 20cm long; some have been reported at 25cm.
The Australian pineapplefish is endemic to tropical and temperate marine waters of Australia. There are separate eastern and western populations. The eastern population occurs from One Tree Island, Queensland to eastern Tasmania. The western population occurs from Eucla to Rowley Shoals, Western Australia.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
Australian pineapplefish inhabit shallow rocky estuaries through to deep offshore areas on the continental shelf. They are found up to a depth of at least 250m.
Pineapplefish are not particularly secretive, but they shelter in caves or in the shade over sand during the day, either singly or in small groups. They move out at night over the open sandy sea bottom to hunt for food. They hunt individually and often venture a long way from their daytime shelter, usually returning to their shelter by daybreak.
Pineapplefish feed on shrimp and other crustaceans. The light organ on the sides of the head is used to locate prey at night. The light is produced by phosphorescent bacteria cultured on a patch of skin.
Contributors: Mellisa Mayhew 18/07/2008; Wayne Martin 09/11/2008
Egerton, L. (ed.) (2005). Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, (Revised Edition). Readers Digest Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006). Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 35.2, p. 766. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Kuiter, R.H. (1996). Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Ltd, Sydney.
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024