Overview

Brief Summary

Syngnathidae is a family of mostly marine fish that includes two subfamilies: the Hippocampinae comprise 47 species of seahorses (genus Hippocampus) and two crested pipefish (genus Histiogamphelus); and the Syngnathinae comprise about 200 species of pipefishes in 54 genera, including the weedy sea dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) and the leafy sea dragon (Phycodurus eques). The name Syngnathidae is derived from Greek meaning "fused jaw", a trait that all members of this family have in common. Syngnathids have rigid armor plates covering their bodies and are slow-swimming fish found mostly in tropical and subtropical shallow waters around the world, but a few pipefish are found in open ocean environments, especially associated with floating Sargassum seaweed mats. In all species males carry the fertilized eggs either in a ventral pouch or on their tails, and provide parental protection until the eggs hatch.

(Wikipedia 20 January, 2012; Wikipedia 9 December, 2011; Wikipedia 13 November 2011)

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Syngnathidae is a family of mostly marine fish that includes two subfamilies: the Hippocampinae comprise 47 species of seahorses (genus Hippocampus), and two crested pipefish (genus Histiogamphelus); and the Syngnathinae comprise about 200 species of pipefishes in 54 genera, including the weedy sea dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) and leafy sea dragon (Phycodurus eques). The name Syngnathidae is derived from Greek meaning "fused jaw", a trait that all members of this family have in common. Syngnathids have rigid armor plates covering their bodies and are slow-swimming fish found mostly in tropical and subtropical shallow waters around the world, but a few pipefish are found in open ocean environments, especially associated with floating Sargassum seaweed mats. In all species males carry the fertilized eggs either in a ventral pouch or on their tails, and provide parental protection until the eggs hatch.

(Wikipedia 20 January, 2012; Wikipedia 9 December, 2011; Wikipedia 13 November 2011)

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Mostly marine. Some in brackish and fresh water. Distribution: Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans (mostly in warm temperate to tropical). A series of bony rings encloses elongate body. Dorsal fin single; soft rays usually 15-60. Very small anal fin. Anal rays usually 2-6. Pectoral fin rays usually 10-23. Adults of some species may lack dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins. Pelvic fins lacking. Some without caudal fin. Caudal peduncle may be prehensile. Very small gill openings. Branchiostegal rays 1-3. Basisphenoid and supracleithrum lacking. Kidney unpaired (right side) and lacking glomerulus. About 60 cm maximum length. Some very colorful. Usually limited to shallow water.
  • MASDEA (1997).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:873Public Records:273
Specimens with Sequences:685Public Species:58
Specimens with Barcodes:683Public BINs:62
Species:142         
Species With Barcodes:123         
          
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Barcode data

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Syngnathidae

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Wikipedia

Syngnathidae

The Syngnathidae are a family of fish which includes the seahorses, the pipefishes, and the weedy and leafy sea dragons. The name is derived from Greek, syn meaning fused or together, and gnathus meaning jaws. This fused jaw trait is something the entire family has in common.[1]

Description and biology[edit]

Syngnathids are found in temperate and tropical seas across the world. Most species inhabit shallow, coastal waters, but a few are known from the open ocean, especially in association with sargassum mats. They are characterised by their elongated snouts, fused jaws, the absence of pelvic fins, and by thick plates of bony armour covering their bodies. The armour gives them a rigid body, so they swim by rapidly fanning their fins. As a result, they are relatively slow compared with other fishes, but are able to control their movements with great precision, including hovering in place for extended periods.[2]

Uniquely, after syngnathid females lay their eggs, the male then fertilizes and carries the eggs during incubation, using one of several methods. Male seahorses have a specialized ventral pouch to carry the eggs, male sea dragons attach the eggs to their tails, and male pipefish may do either, depending on their species.[3]

Seahorses and pipefish also have a unique feeding mechanism, know as elastic recoil feeding. Although the mechanism is not well understood, seahorses and pipefish appear to have the ability to store energy from contraction of their expaxial muscles (used in upward head rotation), which they then release, resulting in extremely fast head rotation to accelerate their mouths towards unsuspecting prey.[4][5]

Classification[edit]

Images of species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sara A. Lourie, Amanda C.J. Vincent and Heather J. Hall: Seahorses: An Identification Guide to the World's Species and their Conversation. London: Project Seahorse, 1999
  2. ^ Orr, J.W & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 168–169. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  3. ^ "Seahorses and their relatives". NSW Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries. Archived from the original on 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  4. ^ Van Wassenbergh et al., J. R. Soc. Interface 5:285(2008)
  5. ^ Van Wassenbergh et al., Biol. Lett. 5:200(2009)
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