The Elegant Ornate Ghost Pipefish of Lembeh Strait continues to surprise and enthrall our guests. They are unique, elegant and extremely beautiful and make for a lovely photo, as shown here. Our guest, Anais captured an awesome shot of this Ghost Pipefish here in Lembeh Strait.
Their scientific name is Solenostomus Paradoxus, not such a pretty name for such a pretty critter, they are also known as Harlequin Ghost Pipefish. You can usually find them hidden in colorful crinoids or Feather Stars, where they camouflage themselves very well in order to protect themselves from predators. The Ornate Ghost Pipefish grow to approximately no bigger than 12 centimeters and can be found at depths from 5 to 30 meters. They are a seasonal creature and can only be found a few months of the year. This could be one of the reasons as to how they got named the Ghost Pipefish. They tend to stay in one area for a short while, days or weeks even and then mysteriously, disappear!
Unlike the Robust Ghost Pipefish, who is generally green in color, the Ornate Ghost Pipefish can vary in color from brown, black, dark red, yellow or even transparent. This is due to their colorful crinoid habitat. They hang upside down the majority of the time, simply because this is how they feed. Sucking small crustaceans through their long snout. Very similar to other pipefish and the Seahorse, the Ornate Ghost Pipefish is slightly different in the fact that they have 2 dorsal fins and large pelvic fins. Pipefish and Seahorses have only one dorsal fin and no pelvic fin. Unlike Seahorses also the female Ghost Pipefish carries her eggs, not the male.
Also seen this week in Lembeh was the Harlequin Shrimp, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Ambon Scorpionfish and the Blue Ringed Octopus (yes, the afternoon dive special!)
We have had the pleasure of welcoming back Steve and Karen from Scotland, (big thanks for the Tablet and the chocolate), Michael from the USA and Henna from Finland. We also had first time visitors to Lembeh from Germany, France, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK.