Site navigation

Robust Ghostpipefish

 
Introduction:
Highly variable in colour, long snout, hard body plates, very cryptic.
Identification:
Colouration is highly variable from grey, brown, dark red to bright green with darker spots and markings. It has a long snout and hard body plates.  It has 2 dorsal fins and a very short to absent caudal peduncle. It is very cryptic and resembles a drifting piece of seagrass. Body size up to 15 cm.
Max. Size: 15 cm.
Distribution: Northern, eastern and western Australia
Habitat: Coastal bays and estuaries in algae or seagrass beds at a depth of 2 m to 25 m.
Biology:
It may go unnoticed as it drifts in currents resembling a piece of seagrass. When disturbed it will move into vegetation. It often hangs upside down to feed, feeding on plankton and small crustaceans sucked in through its snout. Females incubate the eggs in a pouch formed by her modified ventral fins.  These fins are greatly expanded and united with the abdomen along the upper margin and together below for a brood pouch. After incubation, the eggs are released into the water column and are planktonic, travelling with the currents until they find a suitable habitat.
Other Common Names: Ghost Pipefish, Racek's Ghost Pipefish, Rough-snout Ghostpipefish, Squaretail Ghost-pipefish
Family: Solenostomidae
Genus: Solenostomus
Species: cyanopterus