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Species: Micrognathus erugatus, Smooth Pipefish

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snout short, central ridge spiny
head & body ~ smooth, ~ no ridges, rings indistinct & not notched
lower body & tail ridges not joined

Micrognathus erugatus Herald & Dawson, 1974

Smooth Pipefish

Head and body almost smooth due to poor development of ridges; snout short; central snout ridge with several forward-pointing spines; other head ridges (sides of snout & head, top of nape) not visible; head with short, simple skin flaps above opercle and on ridges along top and mid-side of opercle; body and tail without skin flaps; opercle with 20+ rows of minute pock-mark depressions radiating from indistinct central ridge; exhalant gill opening extends to top of head; dorsal fin 18-20 rays; anal fin 2 rays; pectoral fin rays 10-13; no pelvic fins; tail fin typically 10; upper body and tail ridges interrupted near rear of dorsal fin; lower trunk ridge ends near anus; side trunk ridge joins lower tail ridge; trunk rings 17-20, total rings 56-71; body rings difficult to distinguish, without skin flaps; ridges of head, body and tail not prominent; body ridges with almost no notches between body rings, edges smooth; brood pouch under tail rings 10-17, pouch plates not very enlarged, pouch semi-open.

Grey-green to green to yellow-brown; body color variable: plain with green and white belly, to mottled with white anteriorly, and sometimes with white bars.

Reaches 11.7 cm.

Tide pools and shallow seagrass beds.

Depth range: 0.5-2 m.

Brazil and south-east Venezuela.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • 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 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)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 11.7
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 2