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Species: Syngnathus scovelli, Gulf Pipefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout medium & stout
female: 1-3 silver bars on each lower body ring, black ventral keel, C dark + white spots
D 25-37
trunk rings 15-18, 5.5-9.5 under D
opercular ridge - low, short

Syngnathus scovelli (Evermann & Kendall, 1896)

Gulf Pipefish

Snout moderately long (35-43% of head) and stout (depth 19-42% of length); a narrow bar of bone in front of eye; ridge along side of operculum low, on front 1/3 only in adult, no ridge along side of snout; ridge along top of snout and head low; mature females - body deep, belly V shaped; dorsal fin 25-37, fin low, its origin on trunk, well before anus; anal fin 2; pectoral fin 11-17; no pelvic fins; tail fin 10; ridge along side of body ends at level near anus; upper ridge of body discontinuous with that of tail just behind dorsal fin; ridges along bottom of body and tail joined; main body ridges low, except those on back elevated so back is concave in between them; trunk rings 16 (15-18), under dorsal fin 5.5-9.5; tail rings 28-34; no skin flaps; brood pouch under tail, its plates folded inwards.

Dark green to olive brown; some fish plain; snout usually with a diffuse stripe along side; upper body often paler than lower body; back and sides streaked with fine brown lines, sometimes barred or with a mid-side brown stripe; females usually with 1-3 dark-edged narrow silvery bars on each lower body ring and black ventral keel; dorsal and pectoral fins clear; tail fin dark, edged with white spots.

Reaches 18.3 cm.

Freshwater (isolated bodies in some areas) to hypersaline conditions; in marine conditions lives in seagrass and macroalgal beds in bays and estuaries.

Depth: 0-7 m.

NE Florida to southern Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Hypersaline
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 18.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 7