Fish ID: ghost pipefish

Fish ID: ghost pipefish

Divers who love searching for critters are, every so often, rewarded with a sighting of a ghost pipefish. These fascinating, highly camouflaged and delicate little fish are a joy to find and make beautiful subjects for underwater photography.

Of the six known species of ghost pipefish in the Solenostomidae family, those found most often hiding on the dive sites of the Maldives are the Halimeda Ghost Pipefish and the Ornate Ghost Pipefish. Divers who want to try their luck in finding these masters of disguise should concentrate their searches in areas where they like to hide.

Halimeda, as their name suggests, are to be found amongst Halimeda algae growing on the reef; these ghost pipefish are often bright green in colour and with rounded fins, perfectly resembling the growth segments of the algae. Sea fans and crinoids are other great places to look, intricately patterned Ornate Ghost Pipefish love to hang out amongst the fronds and, with their outline broken up by not only their pattern but the small protrusions covering their body and fins too they are hard to spot.

Anyone lucky enough to spot one should have a really good look for another close by as they are often seen in pairs. Ghost Pipefish are rare finds due not only to their ability to blend in so well with their surroundings, but also the short time they spend in any one place.

If you are keen on the small creatures of the ocean, the Maldives is one of the best places for macro life!