Animal Species:Halimeda Ghostpipefish, Solenostomus halimeda Orr, Fritzsche & Randall 2002
The Halimeda Ghostpipefish has a very large head compared with the body size. The species occurs throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific.
The head of a Halimeda Ghostpipefish is almost equal to the length of the body. The species has a small caudal fin, which is similar in size and shape to the first dorsal and ventral fins. The caudal peduncle is 2 to 3 times as long as it is high. The species is highly variable in colour (from bright green or red to white) and is sometimes covered with fine filaments that give the fish a 'hairy' appearance.
The species grows to 6.5 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 a seahorse. Ghostpipefishes have two dorsal fins whereas a seahorse only has one.
The species occurs widely throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific.
This benthic species occurs in inshore areas and coral reefs. It is sometimes found living in association with fine filamentous orange-coloured or bright green algae, at depths between 15 m and 30 m.
Mating and reproduction
Unlike seahorses, 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 pelvic fins. These fins are greatly expanded and united with the abdomen along the upper margin and together below, to form a brood pouch.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics. Pp. 333.
- Orr, J.W & T.W. Pietsch. in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press . Pp. 240.
- Orr, J.W. & R.A. Fritzsche. 1993. Revision of the Ghost Pipefishes, Family Solenostomidae (Teleostei: Syngnathoidei). Copeia. 1: 168-182.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology