Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Penetopteryx nanus, Lost Pipefish, Worm Pipefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout v short
head & body: many fine dark bars
C (10) is only fin



Penetopteryx nanus (Rosen, 1911)

Worm Pipefish, Lost Pipefish

Snout very short, thick, upturned; no dorsal, pectoral or anal fins; no pelvic fins; tail fin small, 10 rays; upper body and tail ridges confluent, not interrupted; lower body ridge ends at anus; no ridge along side of body; trunk rings 17-19, total rings 47-61; brood pouch under tail rings 12-17, semi-enclosed.

Pale brown; head and body circled with many thin brown to red-brown bands, those on head and front of body wider.

Reaches only 3.2 cm.

Dead coral bottoms.

Depth range: 0.5-4 m.

The Bahamas and W Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Sand & gravel
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • 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
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.2
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 4