Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Syngnathiformes
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathidae
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathinae
Etymology: Micrognathus: Greek, mikros = small + greek, gnathos = jaw (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 21 m (Ref. 52313). Subtropical; 32°N - 33°S
Western Atlantic: Bermuda and the Bahamas to Santa Catarina, Brazil (Ref. 57756); including lower east Florida coast but absent from the Gulf of Mexico except for a single record from Cayo Arcas, Mexico. Dawson (1982) noted that there are two distinct color patterns of this species with no definite intergrades. Some authors are of the opinion that these color extremes represent two different species and should this be true, Dawson stated that Kaup's vittatus has priority over ensenadae with AMNH 7792 documenting the Bermuda occurrence of Micrognathus vittatus.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 1 - 3. Possess nine (9) different color phases. Similar to Halicampus zavorensis, it has a short snout (2.7-3.7 in HL) with a continuous and essentially linear median dorsal ridges. Different with H. zavorensis in having 17-18 trunk ridges (vs. 14); 32 - 35 tail rings (vs. 36 - 37); and having 18 - 22 dorsal-fin rays (vs. 22 - 23) (Ref. 52313).
Occurs in pockets of coral rubble (low coral growth on white sand bottom), usually in the vicinity of sea fans (Ref. 5521, 7251, 9710). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Male carries the eggs in a brood pouch (Ref. 205).
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.8 - 28.2, mean 27.4 (based on 694 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5039 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00049 (0.00022 - 0.00111), b=3.10 (2.91 - 3.29), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (12 of 100) .