The Great Barrier Reef Library

A comprehensive guide to The Great Barrier Reef

Syngnathiformes – Seahorses, Pipe Fishes, Flutemouths and Trumpet Fishes


By on May 11, 2018


Syngnathiformes are better known as Seahorses and Pipe Fishes. These are one of the smaller groups on the reef, with only five families and 312 species found worldwide. Some live in temperate waters and some even in freshwater. However, the majority inhabit warm, tropical seas, often associated with reefs.

Syngnathiformes have a long snout and a relatively small mouth which restricts their diet to small planktonic creatures, such as Copepods. They also have armoured bodies, either partially, or fully enclosed by “Dermal Plates” (bony rings).

Another distinguishing feature, is that in some species of this order, the males give birth to live young. They have a brooding pouch, into which, the females places here eggs. It is then the fathers job to carry the eggs as they mature and give them all the nutrients they need to get ahead in life.1,2

You can find a list of all of the families of Syngnathiformes of The Great Barrier Reef, below.

Family – A lower level on taxonomic classification, grouping together species that show many similarities

Aulostomidae – Trumpet Fishes

Centriscidae Centriscidae – Razor Fishes (Shrimp Fishes)

 Fistulariidae – Flutemouths

Macroramphosidae – Bellow Fishes

Solenostomidae – Ghost Pipe Fishes

Syngnathidae Syngnathidae – Pipe Fishes and Seahorses