The Greater Pipefish (Syngnathus acus) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Syngnathidae family of seahorses, pipefish, and seadragons. Acus means needle.
The Greater Pipefish looks like a thin, straight seahorse or a small sea snake. It is a long, tube-like, cyclindrical brown-coloured fish with a small mouth. Its snout (nose) is a long tube ending in a narrow mouth which opens upwards and is toothless. It has a dorsal (back) fin, which is always moving because it helps the Pipefish to swim. It has small gill openings, called slits, which enable it to breathe underwater.
It grows to about 35 centimetres (14 inches) in length.
It is found in coastal tropical and temperate coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. It likes to swim in seagrass.
The Greater Pipefish feeds on small prawns.
The female lays eggs, but the male Greater Pipefish looks after the eggs and the young. The male has a brood pouch that holds the eggs. The young swim and feed immediately after they hatch.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM