Micrognathus crinitus (Jenyns, 1842)
Banded pipefish
Micrognathus crinitus
photo by Sazima, I.

Family:  Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses), subfamily: Syngnathinae
Max. size:  15 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 21 m
Distribution:  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.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 19-21; Anal 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).
Biology:  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).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 10 January 2014 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 01.12.04
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 12.08.94

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