Gulf pipefish

Syngnathus scovelli

Family Syngnathidae - pipefishes

Body elongate, thin, straight; head not at angle to body; snout tubular, short (<50% of head length); mouth small; tail not coiled, caudal fin present; color olive brown (females) to pale (males); body with armored plates forming rings around body; females with dark blotches forming dark or silvery vertical bars between back and belly, some vertical markings on posterior half of body; males without blotches, more mottled colored, paler than females; during the mating ritual the female may turn completely black and the male become pale yellow; females have a V-shaped belly, males have a flat belly; both with oblique dark line from eye to cheek; area under eye lighter colored; no pelvic or anal fins.
Similar Species
Gulf pipefish is distinguished by its short snout and its dorsal fin covers 2-4 trunk rings and 3-5 tail rings; both the chain and dusky pipefish have long snouts.
Gulf and bay, sometimes enters freshwater, likes vegetated areas
Maximum Size
21 cm (8 .5 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. 27-36 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
As with all pipefishes and seahorse, the male carries and broods the eggs.
State size/bag limits