Pipefish and seahorses all belong to the same family, the Syngnathidae. Pipefish differ from seahorses by possessing a caudal (tail) fin and being relatively straight-bodied. Seahorses have a coiled tail with no caudal fin. Both have rigid bodies and a tube-shaped mouth used to suck in small prey such as plankton and larval fish.
The males have a brood pouch and carry the eggs after they are transferred from the female where they remain through their incubation. The young are ejected upon hatching.
There are many species of pipefish, some very colorful. Our local species is ranges in color from a greenish to almost black. It attains lengths approaching a foot and can be found in marshes, bays, and inlets.
Check our Fish Slides database for photos and catch records.
Bigelow, Henry B., William C. Schroeder. 1953. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, vol 53, no. 74
Robins, C. Richard, Ray, G. Carleton, Douglass, John, 1986, A Field Guide to Atlantic Coast Fishes of North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
Name Server Information for