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 (
),the Delicate Ghost Pipeﬁsh (
), and the Long-tailed Ghost Pipeﬁsh (
) 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 (
) 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 (
),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-
hybrid larvaeon a metric rule graduatedin millimeters.
larvaeat 6 days post-hatch.The Steinhart Aquarium’smale
behind theemale, soon ater theirtrip to San Franciscorom the Philippines.