THE ROBUST GHOST PIPEFISH
THE SOLENOSTOMUS CYANOPTERUS
A fish from the seahorse family that spends the day flotting upside down near an underwater plant, making it’s possible to look like her…..interesting !
A ghostpipefish’s head is held at an angle to the body, but not at such a large angle as that of the seahorse. the presence of pelvic fins, a prominent, spiny, dorsal fin, and star-shaped plates on the skin. Unlike true pipefish, female ghostpipefishes use their enlarged pelvic fins to brood their eggs until they hatch.
They are found in tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, from Asia to Africa.
The animals, none of which are longer than 15 centimetres, float near motionlessly, with the mouth facing downwards, around a background that makes them nearly impossible to see. They feed on tiny crustaceans, sucked inside through their long snout.
They are usually seen in pairs near algae or seagrass beds. When disturbed it will move into the vegetation. They live in open waters except during breeding, when they find a coral reef or muddy bottom, changing colour and shape to minimize visibility. The colouration is highly variable from grey, brown to bright green. The species has a very short to absent caudal peduncle.
Here you can see two males flirting with a very good looking ghost pipefish. Quite a discrete animal!