The Ornate Ghostpipefish can be recognised by its distinctive body form with slender appendages on the body and fins. It has deeply incised membranes in the dorsal, caudal and ventral fins. Its colour varies from almost totally black to semi-transparent with red, yellow, and white scribbling, spots and blotches. The species grows to 10 cm in length. Ghostpipefishes are different to seahorses in several ways. A ghostpipefish’s head is held at an angle to the body, but not at such a large angle as that of the seahorse. Ghostpipefishes have two dorsal fins whereas a seahorse only has one. In addiction, ghostpipefishes do not have a pouch in which the young are reared, instead a female ghostpipefish (rather than the male seahorse) looks after 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.
It has a widespread distribution in tropical waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. The Ornate Ghostpipefish is usually solitary, but has also been observed in pairs or small groups. The species is found in protected coastal waters, especially near coral and rocky dropoffs, between 3 m and 25 m.
Lat: 7.74, Long: 98.78
Spotted on Nov 18, 2008
Submitted on Jul 31, 2011