Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    Solenostomus
    Genus
    cyanopterus
    Family
    Solenostomidae
    Order
    Gasterosteiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It is the largest of the ghostpipefishes, growing to a maximum length of 15 cm.

Introduction

Although there is considerable variation, many Robust Ghostpipefish look remarkably similar to a piece of seagrass.

Identification

The colouration of the Robust Ghostpipefish is highly variable from grey, brown to bright green. The species has a very short to absent caudal peduncle.

Habitat

It is usually seen in pairs near algae or seagrass beds. When disturbed it will move into the vegetation.

Distribution

The Robust Ghostpipefish lives in marine waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. In Australia it is found in coastal bays and estuaries from Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Solenostomus cyanopterus

Ozcam map of Robust Ghostpipefish specimens in the Australian Museums http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Solenostomus%20cyanopterus&zoom=off#mapView

Feeding and diet

The species feeds on small crustaceans.

Breeding behaviours

Unlike the 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 ventral fins. These fins are greatly expanded and united with the abdomen along the upper margin and together below for a brood pouch.

References

  1. 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.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
  5. Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Captive Care. Microcosm. Pp. 624.