Ghost pipefishSolenostomus cyanopterus

  • Seagrass
  • seagrass
  • Fauna
  • Ghost pipefish
  • Fish


Solenostomus cyanopterus is from the family of Syngnathidae (Seahorses, Pipefishes). Common names include Robust Ghost Pipefish, Blue-finned Ghost Pipefish, Ghost Pipefish, Racek's Ghost Pipefish, Rough-snout Ghost Pipefish, and Squaretail Ghost Pipefish. This is a well camouflaged fish and its overall body colour varies from brown to yellow to pink with small black and white spots all over. Individuals living in seagrass beds tend to be green in colour. Two elongate black spots are present between the first three dorsal spines. The caudal fin can be truncate, rounded or lanceolate. It has a long, tubular mouth and snout and a short caudal peduncle[1]. It has a total of 5 dorsal spines; 17 to 22 dorsal soft rays; 0 anal spines; 17 to 22 anal soft rays and 32 to 33 vertebrae. It can reach a maximum length of 17cm. Males and females can be distinguished by the pelvic fin, which is modified to form a brood pouch for the females[2].


[1] ‘Solenostomus Cyanopterus’.

[2] ‘Solenostomus Cyanopterus, Ghost Pipefish : Aquarium’.

Habitat and ecology

The Ghost Pipefish is present across the Indo-Pacific regions. The Ghost Pipefish can be found in protected coastal and lagoon reefs, in deep coastal reefs and seagrass meadows. Recorded depth range is between 0 and 28m. Its diet consists of small crustaceans such as the mysid shrimp. It is an ambush predator and uses camouflage to hunt and floats with its head facing down, mimicking vegetation. Females carry eggs in their brood pouch.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red List, this species is categorized as ‘Least Concern’. It can be found in  various  habitats. Population trend, however, is unknown[1]. There are no conservation measures in place for this species, but it is present in MPAs across its distribution.


[1] ‘Solenostomus Cyanopterus (Robust Ghost Pipefish)’.

Did you know?

This species is monogamous.