Solenostomus paradoxus

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Harlequin ghost pipefish
Solenostomus paradoxus black on pink.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Solenostomidae
Genus: Solenostomus
Species: S. paradoxus
Binomial name
Solenostomus paradoxus
(Pallas, 1770)

The ornate ghost pipefish or harlequin ghost pipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus, is a false pipefish of the family Solenostomidae. The species name comes from the Greek paradoxos, referring to this fish's unusual external features. Ornate ghost pipefish are found in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean along reef edges prone to strong currents. They reach a maximum length of 12 cm. They vary in color from red or yellow to black and are almost transparent. They feed mostly on mysids and benthic shrimp. Females carry the eggs in their pelvic fins that are modified to form a brood pouch. Although relatively common, ornate ghost pipefish are very well-camouflaged and difficult to find.[1]

Its ghostly appearance gives the fish its name.
Different color variation
A pair observed in North Sulawesi, Indonesia

The IUCN conservation status of Solenostomus paradoxus has not been evaluated.[2]


  1. ^ Dianne J Bray & Vanessa J Thompson, 2011, Ornate Ghostpipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Oct 2014,
  2. ^ IUCN Redlist. Accessed: 4 Sept 2012
  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2008). "Solenostomus paradoxus" in FishBase. January 2008 version.
  • Orr, JW and Fritzsche, RA. 1993. Revision of the Ghost Pipefishes, Family Solenostomidae (Teleostei: Syngnathoidei). Copeia 1993:168-182.