False pipefish

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Ghostpipefish
Temporal range: 55.8–0Ma
Eocene to Present[1]
Ornate Ghost Pipefish.jpg
Solenostomus paradoxus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Solenostomidae
Bonaparte, 1846
Genus: Solenostomus
Lacépède, 1803
Species

See text

The ghost pipefishes (also called false pipefishes or tubemouth fishes) are a small family Solenostomidae in the order Syngnathiformes. The family consists of just a single genus, Solenostomus, with five currently recognized species.[2] Ghostpipefishes are related to pipefishes and seahorses. They are found in tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, from Asia to Africa.[3]

The animals, none of which are longer than 15 centimetres (5.9 in), float near motionlessly, with the mouth facing downwards, around a background that makes them nearly impossible to see. They feed on tiny crustaceans, sucked inside through their long snout. They live in open waters except during breeding, when they find a coral reef or muddy bottom, changing color and shape to minimize visibility.[3]

In many respects, they are similar to the pipefishes, but can be distinguished by the presence of pelvic fins, a prominent, spiny, dorsal fin, and star-shaped plates on the skin. Unlike true pipefish, female ghostpipefishes use their enlarged pelvic fins to brood their eggs until they hatch.[3]

Ornate ghostpipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus.

Species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology 364: p.560. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  2. ^ Family Solenostomidae [1] FishBase. Accessed 4 Sept 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Orr, J.W. & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 169. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  • "Solenostomus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 6 June 2006. 
  • Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten. Amazing Animals: Extraordinary Creatures and the Fantastic Worlds They Inhabit. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004. Page 116-117.
  • Orr, JW and Fritzsche, RA. 1993. Revision of the Ghost Pipefishes, Family Solenostomidae (Teleostei: Syngnathoidei). Copeia 1993:168-182.

External links[edit]