Bay Pipefish

(Syngnathus griseolineatus

Habitat and Distribution: Found in eelgrass or algae beds in shallow bays and inlets along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja California.

Size: Up to 13 inches

Wild Diet: Small crustaceans, fish fry (babies), and zooplankton.

Predators: Large fish, otters, and crabs

Reproduction: After successfully courting a mate, the female deposits up to 225 eggs into brood pouches on the male's underside. The male incubates the eggs and provides nutrients, oxygen, and water to the embryos. About two weeks later, when the young are ready to hatch they emerge the males' pouch as tiny versions of their parents.

Behavior: Bay pipefish camouflage well in eelgrass beds by positioning themselves vertically and staying in place for long periods of time. To feed, they wait for small prey to swim within an inch and then suck them up with small, tube-shaped mouths.


IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Bay pipefish are common and face no major threats.

Did you know?

  • Bay pipefish swim with a side-to-side wriggling motion similar to that of a snake.
  • They are named for their long, pipe-like snouts.