- Long, very skinny fish with tubular, toothless mouths.
- Green coloration for camouflage.
- Instead of scales, they have jointed, bonelike rings around their body.
- They have tiny dorsal (back) and pectoral (side) fins that beat rapidly as they slowly swim.
- Adults can be up to 13 inches long.
- Females are larger than males.
- Sitka, Alaska to southern Baja California, Mexico.
- Live in eelgrass (often they sway back and forth with the currents to camouflage with the eelgrass).
- Found in bays, estuaries, and sloughs.
- Also found in coral reefs.
- Unlike most animals, a female pipefish courts the male.
- If the male accepts, the female deposits up to 721 eggs into a brooding pouch on the male, where he incubates and nourishes the eggs for up to 6 weeks before they hatch.
- When the babies hatch, they are immediately ready to swim away and live on their own.
- Plankton and small crustaceans.
- Brown smoothhounds, spotted sand bass, elegant terns.
- Bay pipefish have no teeth. They eat by slurping up food through their tubelike mouth.
- Pipefish are very close relatives of seahorses.
- A pipefish steers by moving its head side to side.
Sources: Wildcoast; Monterey Bay Aquarium; FishBase; Oregon Coast Aquarium
Photo: Rocio Gajon Bunker