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Species: Syngnathus louisianae, Chain pipefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout v long & slender
upper side: stripe above bars
lower side: +/- dark diamonds
D 29-42
trunk rings 18-21
no opercular ridge

Syngnathus louisianae Günther, 1870

Chain pipefish

Snout very long (52.6-66.7% of head length) and very slender (depth 8-15% of its length; narrow bar of 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 slender; dorsal fin 29-42, fin origin on trunk, well before anus; anal fin 2-4; pectoral fin 12-16; no pelvic fins; tail fin 10; 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; trunk rings 18-21; tail rings 33-38; no skin flaps; brood pouch under tail, its plates folded inwards.

Color variable: whitish to light tan; usually a diffuse brown stripe on rear end of snout and behind eye; large fish with silvery patch on opercle; upper body brownish, top of back often lighter; usually a narrow brown stripe along side of body above lateral body ridge, with narrow brown bars extending up from that at edge of each body ring; some fish with side and lower plates edged with brown, forming a diamond or chain pattern; lower body pale to tan.

Reaches 38.1 cm.

Vegetated bottoms of inshore and estuarine habitats; freshwater to hypersaline conditions, mostly in brackish water.

Depth: 0-38 m, usually < 10 m.

New Jersey to Campeche.

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  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Hypersaline
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Freshwater
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Live birth
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species..
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 38
Length Max
  • 38.1