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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Snake Pipefish Entelurus aequoreus

At first sight, the snake pipefish could easily be mistaken for a small sea snake. It has a long, smooth, rounded body tapering to a thin tail with a minute tail fin. However, like all pipefish and seahorses, its head is drawn out into a distinctive tubular snout for sucking up small floating crustaceans and fish fry. Pipefish have no scales but, instead, the body is encased in segmented bony armor lying beneath the skin.

The snake pipefish has an orange-brown body with pale blue bands. It lives among seaweed, where it is well camouflaged. The female lays several hundred eggs into a shallow pouch along the male’s belly during the summer. The eggs develop in the pouch and the young are released when they are about in (1 cm) long, but before they are fully developed.

Snake Pipefish habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Syngnathiformes
  • Length Up to 24 in (60 cm)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth 33–330 ft (10–100 m)
  • Distribution Temperate waters of northeastern Atlantic