The gulf pipefish, Syngnathus scovelli
, is a slender, elongate fish that grows to 6 inches. It ranges from Florida and Louisiana through the Gulf of Mexico, Central and South America to Brazil (Targett 1984, Amos and Amos 1997). It typically inhabits shallow (< 6 m), densely vegetated, nearshore and estuarine waters. It is the only species among the 24 North American pipefishes that is known to enter freshwater areas (Amos and Amos 1997). S. scovelli exhibits sexual dimorphism, with females generally having deeper bodies and V-shaped silvery stripes along the trunk (Jones and Avise 1997). Body color is also different between the sexes, with females being an olive brown color, and males being much lighter. S. scovelli has no pelvic fins, but the elongate dorsal fin transverses 3 bony rings of dermal armor on the body and 5 on the tail. S scovelli is the most abundant pipefish in Florida and around the Gulf of Mexico (Brown 1972, Dawson 1982, Targett 1984).