The embryonic and larval development of the pipefish Syngnathus abaster is described, based on ex situ observation. The full development sequence lasted 24-32 days (at 18-19° C), which was shortened to 21 days at higher temperatures (21-22° C). Newborn juveniles, with a uniform dark brown coluration, immediately assumed a benthic spatial distribution. This vertical distribuzion pattern remained unchanged at least during the first 4 week, after the release from the marsupium. The apparent absence of a pelagic life phase might have important ripercussion in terms of population connectivity given increasing fragmentation and degradation of the eel grass habitat in the species' range.
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