Syngnathus typhle (Linnaeus, 1758)

Syngnathus typhle image

Synonyms: Syngnathus virids Risso, 1810; Syngnathus argentatus Pallas, 1811; Syngnathus pyrois Risso, 1826; Syngnathus thyphle Di Caporiaceo, 1948; Syngnathus thyphle argentatus Slastenenko, 1956; Syngnathus rotundatus Totonnese, 1970.

Common names: Engl: Deep-smoted pipefish; Rom. Ac de mare; Russ: Morskaya igla; Turk: Deniz ignesi.

Order (Scientific): SYNGNATIFORMES.

Family (Scientific): SYNGNATIDAE.

Taxonomic descriptions: Body very elongate and straight, with conspicuous longitudinal edges; long, high and strong snout very flattened from side to side; superior mouth, small and oblique, situated in the superior tip of the snout; caudal region very long and non-prehensile; 7 longitudinal edges along the body: two parallel to the back line, two laterals, two parallel to the ventral line and one mid-ventral. In the caudal region, the mid-ventral edge disappears, and the two laterals approach the sub-dorsal ones; dorsal fin begins above or near the anus; pectoral fins short and rounded; no ventral fins; caudal and anal fins reduced. The males have in the caudal region two lateral folds which are approaching on the median line of the head, producing an incubation chamber, where the eggs are spawned and develop; ventral wall of the head intense vascularized near the incubation region. Body greenish or brown-reddish, generally with dark spots and stripes.

Syngnathus typhle arealIUCN Status:
    World level:
    Black Sea Regional level:
    Subregion level: VU


Habitats type: A marine pelagic fish, able to endure freshened waters. Living only between plants, especially Zostera. Common throughout the Black Sea littoral and Azov Sea; was also recorded in the littoral lakes Razelm-Sinoe.

Critical habitats: Littoral zones in the north-eastern Black Sea.

Limiting factors: Lack of vegetation, essential for its development and spawning; strong eutrophication of littoral waters; hydrotechnical works which have reduced the Zostera fields.

Biology: Feeds on crustaceans and juveniles of fish; spawning period from March till August; females lays dawn the eggs in the incubation pocket of males; incubation lasts 4 weeks.

Population trends: Very frequent in Zostera fields in the Agigea and Mangalia marine zones, during 1950-1970 , more rarely in the Cystoseira fields on the southern littoral zone during the same period. During the last two decades, the population has diminished due to the reduction of the Zostera fields. Presently occurs in the stake nets.

Threats: Predatory fish; anthropogenic pressure.

Conservation measures taken: None.

Conservation measures proposed: Purification of the drainage waters of coastal cities.


  1. Banarascu, P., 1964 - Fauna of RPR. Pisces - Osteichthyes. Ed.Acad.RPR.
  2. Muller, G.I., V.H. Skolka, N.Bodeanu, 1969 - Preliminary data regarding the algal and animal populations associated with the Cystoseira barbata fields from the Black Sea Romanian littoral. Hydrobiology, 10: 270-289. (In Rom.).

Compiled by: G.Radu, F.Verioti.