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Species: Syngnathus springeri, Bull pipefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long & slender
D 32-38
trunk rings 22-24
no opercular ridge

Syngnathus springeri Herald, 1942

Bull pipefish

Snout long (50-59% of head) and slender (depth 9-24% of length); a 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, only on front 1/3 of opercle in adults; body and tail slender; dorsal fin  32-38, fin origin on trunk, well before anus; anal fin 2-4; pectoral fin 12-14; no pelvic fins; tail fin 10; ridge along center of belly often prominent; principal body ridges smooth or minutely toothed in adults; 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 22-24; tail rings 34-37; no skin flaps; brood pouch under tail, its plates folded inwards.

Body pale, with ~12 broad dark saddles or bars that are equal to or wider than the pale interspaces; a well defined dark stripe along side of snout through eye and back to upper corner of operculum; tail fin black, with a pale edge; dorsal fin of male plain or with 10-11 faint diagonal bars, of adult female with a blackish blotch on front 4-6 rays and membranes.

Reaches 38 cm.

Found from the surface to the bottom; in floating Sargassum; on sand and shell bottoms; rarely on coral reefs; in brackish to marine conditions.

Depth: 15-128 m.

N Carolina to the Mississippi.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Flotsam
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends North of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 38
Depth Range Min
  • 15
Depth Range Max
  • 128