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Ghost Pipe Co Ralph

Ghost Pipe Co Ralph

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Published by Richard Ross

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Published by: Richard Ross on Jan 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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    S    C    O    T    T    W    I .    M    I    C    H    A    E    L
Female Rough Ghost Pipefsh,
Solenostomus paegnius,
in thewild. Can captive breedingdomesticate desirable butimpossible-to-keep speciessuch as this?
Revealing the mysterious
Richard Ross
Matt Wandell
Collection, husbandry, andspawning of these enigmaticrelatives of the seahorsesand true pipefishes
Ghost Pipefishes are some of themost passed by and—at the same time—sought-after animals in tropical oceans. They are passed by because their crypticnature and fantastic camouflage makeit likely that divers will not see themeven when looking right at them; they are sought after because once you train your eyes to find them, their beauty andvisual extravagance is captivating.
 The track record of these intriguing and delicatefishes in aquariums has been less than stellar. However,recent advances in the collection, husbandry, and dis-play of “hard to keep” fishes by aquarists the world over(and specifically by our team of biologists at the Stein-hart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences,San Francisco) may help to make not only the routinekeeping, but also the captive breeding, of these amazingGhost Pipefishes a reality.In the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Ghost Pipefishesare usually found individually or in male-female pairs,and rarely in trios of one female and two males. Theirbodies often blend in perfectly with other organisms intheir environment, making them very difficult to spot. The Robust Ghost Pipefish (
Solenostomus cyanoptrus
),the Delicate Ghost Pipefish (
S. leptosoma
), and the Long-tailed Ghost Pipefish (
S. armatus
) have streamlined bod-ies and cryptic markings that let them hide in plain sightin and amongst patches of sea grass. As its name suggests,the shape and color of the body and fins of the HalimedaGhost Pipefish (
S. halimeda
) make them indistinguish-able from a clump of the green calcareous algae
. The most flamboyant of the described Ghost Pipefishesis the well-named Ornate Ghost Pipefish (
S. paradoxus
),which is covered with myriad fin rays and spines and ispatterned to blend in perfectly with branches of gorgoni-ans and black corals or among the arms of feather stars.Not to be forgotten is the rarely seen and currently un-
The frst
Solenostomus paradoxus
hybrid larvaeon a metric rule graduatedin millimeters.
Solenostomus paradoxus
larvaeat 6 days post-hatch.The Steinhart Aquarium’smale
Solenostomus paradoxus
behind theemale, soon ater theirtrip to San Franciscorom the Philippines.

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