Solenostomus Cyanopterus: Robust Ghost Pipefish
This unusual fish with its elongated body is relatively uncommon. It is a member om the Indo-Pacific fishes and is part of the Solenostomidae family. The ghost pipefish are relatives to the pipefish and seahorses. Solenostomus comes from the Greek words ‘solen’ meaning tube like and ‘stoma’ meaning mouth. You can find these tropical fish at depths of 2-30 meters in Africa, Australia, Fiji, Japan and India.
These fish float in a head-down position, they have no scales but have a series of bony plates and a fan-like tail fin. The Ghost Pipefish varies in colour (brown, green, pink and yellow) and body shape which serves as camouflage (helps them to blend in with their environment in seaweed or vegetation). Their bodies are elongated and have white and black spots on it, they have a long head with a tubular snout (to suck up their prey) and their dorsal fins have two dark spots on it. They can reach a length of up to 20cm.
The females are bigger than the males and have an enlarged pelvic fin which serves as a brood pouch for the fertilised eggs (about 360 eggs). The Ghost pipefish swim in pairs and are monogamous. They mostly feed on crustaceans and fish larvae.