Microphis brachyurus
(Bleeker 1853)
Family Syngnathidae

Lateral view of opossum pipefish
The photo above shows a female pipefish. This fish was collected in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 2013. It is now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 186961. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The opossum pipefish is a member of the pipefish and seahorse family. It has a slender, snakelike body and no pelvic fins. This fish has a pipe-like and long snout. There are between 17 and 21 trunk rings, and between 20 and 26 tail rings on the body. The opossum pipefish has a long dorsal fin with between 37 and 54 rays, and vertically oriented protective plates on the belly. This is a marine species whose adults enter near-shore, densely vegetated fresh waters, including creeks and canals.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Marine invader
  • Florida Distribution — Gulf Coast, South Florida and Atlantic Coast
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