Larval Fishes from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize - National Museum of Natural History - Division of FishesLarval Fishes Home

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Larval Fish: Family Syngnathidae

The Syngnathidae (seahorses and pipe fishes) have direct development. The males brood the eggs in a pouch until they hatch. The larvae look much like the adults and simply change proportions as they grow. Despite their lack of morphological specialization for planktonic life, they travel long distances on ocean currents.

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Cosmocampus albirostris, USNM 353548

Cosmocampus albirostris, 20 mm SL, USNM 353548.


Syngnathidae, USNM 353886

Syngnathidae, 8 mm SL, USNM 353886.


Penetopteryx nanus, USNM 346207

Penetopteryx nanus, 23 mm SL adult, with young, USNM 346207. This young larva was taken from the pouch of the photographed adult. After the yolk sac is absorbed, the larva will be expelled from the pouch. The parent's responsibility will then end, and the larva will begin feeding and living on its own.


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