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Species: Syngnathus floridae, Dusky pipefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long & slender
triangular bone before eye
flank & upper tail: rows spots -> bars
D 26-35
trunk rings 16-19
no opercular ridge
pectoral short - base 77% length

Syngnathus floridae (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Dusky pipefish

Snout long (47.6-62.5% of head length), and slender (depth 10-21% of its length); a broad triangular bone in front of eye; no ridge above operculum, or along side of snout; ridges along top of snout and head low; opercular ridge inconspicuous, only on front 1/3 of opercle in adults; body and front part of tail relatively deep; dorsal fin 26-35, fin origin on trunk, well before anus; anal fin 2-4; pectoral fin short, its length ~1.3X of length of its base, 12-16; no pelvic fins; tail fin 10; main body ridges without indentations at ring edges; ridge along side of body ends under dorsal fin, not joining that along side of tail; upper ridge of body discontinuous with that of tail just behind dorsal fin; ridges along bottom of body and tail joined; no skin flaps; trunk rings 16-19; tail rings 29-39; brood pouch under tail, its plates folded inwards.

White to brownish, marked in brown and black; snout usually with a diffuse stripe along side; under eye and lower operculum silvery; upper body mottled and blotched with irregular vertical rows of small pale spots or with diffuse bars; lower body pale; sides and upper part of rear tail rings with characteristic pattern of irregular narrow brown stripes; dorsal and pectorals pale, tail fin brownish, with a pale edge.

Reaches 26.5 cm.

Fresh to salt water coastal habitats; seagrass and macroalgal bottoms.

Depth: 0.5-22  m, usually < 5 m.

Chesapeake Bay to Panama.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Freshwater
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Soft bottom only
  • Freshwater
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 26.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 22