Danube Virtual Museum

Black-striped Pipefish (Syngnathus abaster)

Title: Black-striped Pipefish (Syngnathus abaster)
Location/Region: Danube
Chrolonology: 1900 - 2000
Museum: Natural History Museum in Belgrade
Country: Serbia
Closer Dating: 1997


In winter when the waters of the Danube are colder, Black-striped pipefish retreat to the depths, while with increasing water temperature they move closer to the surface. Apart from sea waters, syngnthatus abaster also inhabits fresh water. In Serbia, in the Danube they can grow up to 15 cm. They are recognizable by their long pipe-shaped mouth that easily sucks water, and with it the prey. They have an external skeleton, “armor” made of bony plates, and, depending on the type can exhibit up to 50 of these.

In the period from May to October they can be found in the coastal zone among the dense underwater vegetation. It is difficult to spot them, because of a well-developed mimicry - their appearance completely mimics the surrounding vegetation. During the period spent in the shallow waters, they reproduce even several times. Before each mating, there is a ritual performed when females choose males for mating. Males have an incubation chamber where females lay their eggs. The incubation of eggs in the male’s chamber lasts at least ten days, while a maximum is 25 days. Males are one of the few animals in the world that 'bear offspring into the world'.

From the Museum Collections