Bay Pipefish
Syngnathus legtorhynchus

Physical Description

  • Long, very skinny fish
  • Green body
  • Instead of scales, they have jointed, bonelike rings around their body
  • Up to 13 inches long
  • Females larger than males


  • Sitka, Alaska to southern Baja California, Mexico


  • Eelgrass (often they sway back and forth with the currents to camouflage with the eelgrass)
  • Bays and sloughs


  • Plankton and small crustaceans


  • Brown smoothhounds, spotted sand bass, elegant terns

Interesting Facts

  • Bay pipefish have no teeth. They eat by slurping up food through their tubelike mouth.
  • A pipefish steers by moving its head side to side. 
  • 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 the eggs for up to 6 weeks. 

Sources: Wildcoast; Monterey Bay Aquarium; FishBase;

Photo: Rocio Gajon Bunker

Back To Map