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a family of fishes of the order Lophobranchii. The elongated body is up to 40 cm long and covered with bony rings. There are no ventral fins, and sometimes pectoral, anal, and caudal fins are absent. There is one dorsal fin. Syngnathidae inhabit predominantly coastal and open waters of the world ocean. Of the approximately 50 genera, three are found in the USSR. Pipefishes (Syngnathus), sea horses (Hippocampus), and straightnose pipefishes (Nerophis) are found in the Black, Azov, Caspian, and Baltic seas, as well as in the Sea of Japan. The fishes feed on plankton, crustaceans, and fry. They spawn in the spring or summer; the female deposits the roe in the male’s brood pouch. Syngnathidae are of no commercial value.