We can find Ghost Pipefish year-round in Lembeh but we do seem to experience seemingly random periods of high numbers of certain species. This week in Lembeh the Ornate Ghost Pipefish are popping up everywhere!
The Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus), is also known as the Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, and like many other residents of the Lembeh Strait is a master of Mimicry! We often find them nestling amongst feather stars, hydroids or frayed ropes of mooring lines where they blend effortlessly using their spiny body filaments. They are in fact a “false pipefish”, different from Pipefishes and Seahorses, but of the same order (Sygnathiformes).
All Ghost Pipefish species usually live in pairs, with the larger female holding eggs in their modified, pouch-like pelvic fins. It is common to see pairs of the same species, but occasionally we also see pairs of mixed species too! Ornate Ghost Pipefish are found in many different colours; juveniles are transparent with tiny flecks of their future colour, adults can be found in white, yellow, red, orange, gold and black. This week we have found white, gold, red and black varieties on Lembeh’s sites, including a pair on our house reef!
Other interesting finds this week include Blue Ringed Octopus (found on three different sites), Mimic Octopus, Lembeh Sea Dragons, juvenile Shaggy Frogfish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Pontohi, Denise and Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses, Zebra Crabs, Coconut Octopus, Ambon Scorpionfish, Common Seahorse, Donald Duck Shrimp and Lembeh Velvet Fish.