Like most other syngnathids, S. louisianae males give birth to live young from eggs transferred from the female to a specialized marsupium called a brood pouch. Unlike most seahorses, pipefishes of the genus Syngnathus incubate eggs in an inverted pouch (Monteiro et al. 2005). Fertilization occurs after the female transfers the eggs, and incubation lasts until embryos develop into juveniles. Studies suggest that reproduction peaks in late spring and early summer for populations in Florida, with a large abundance of juveniles found in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in August (Wells & Rooker 2004). Information on maturation age and size is scarce, but the largest reported length for the chain pipefish (38 cm) was for a pregnant male (Monteiro et al. 2005).
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- Wells, RJD & JR Rooker. 2004. Spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use by fishes associated with Sargassum mats in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Bull. Mar. Sci. 74: 81-99.
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