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Trumpetfish, Aulostomus maculatus
Trumpetfish, Aulostomus maculatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes

Syngnathiformes is an order of ray-finned fishes that includes the pipefishes and seahorses.[1]

These fishes have elongate, narrow, bodies surrounded by a series of bony rings, and small, tubular mouths. Several groups live among seaweed and swim with the body aligned vertically, to blend in with the stems.

The name "Syngnathiformes" is derived from Greek syn meaning "with", gnathos meaning "jaw" and Latin forma meaning "shape".


In Nelson[2] and ITIS[3] these fishes are placed as the suborder Syngnathoidei of the order Gasterosteiformes together with the sticklebacks and their relatives. In FishBase[4] these groups are treated as sister orders.

FishBase lists five families:

  • Aulostomidae (cornetfishes and trumpetfishes)
    Centriscidae (razorfishes, shrimpfishes and snipefishes)[5]
    Fistulariidae (cornetfishes)
    Solenostomidae (false pipefishes, ghost pipefishes and tubemouth fishes)
    Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses)


  1. ^ "Syngnathiformes". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. February 2006 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2006.
  2. ^ Joseph S. Nelson. Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-54713-1.
  3. ^ Actinopterygii (TSN 166361). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed on 3 April 2006.
  4. ^ "Gasterosteiformes". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. February 2006 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2006.
  5. ^ In ITIS, the snipefishes are split into their own family, Macroramphosidae.

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