Pipefishes & ghost pipefishes

Sbiaculeatus_WikimediaThe pipefishes and ghost pipefishes are among the closest relatives to seahorses and seadragons. Similar to those groups, these fishes have elongated snouts for capturing small prey and are extremely well-camouflaged.

The elongated body of pipefishes is thought to be an ancestral trait, with seahorses having evolved their upright position after branching off from their common pipefish-like ancestors. The horizontally-swimming pipefishes are the most diverse of the Syngnathids, with over 50 genera and 225 species.  They are present globally everywhere but the poles, with populations ranging from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and New Zealand to Norway.

The ghost pipefishes are named as such because they are so showy and bizarre as to be almost ghost-like.  The five species that make up the genus Solenostomus  are elaborately decorated for camouflage from predators. Unlike their pipefish brethren, the female ghost pipefish uses elongated fins to brood young until they are ready to hatch.

Learn more about these interesting species by checking out the profiles below.

NOTE: This list is a work in progress and will be expanded and updated in the coming months.

IUCN Red List key: EX=Extinct EW=Extinct in the Wild CR=Critically Endangered EN=Endangered VU=Vulnerable NT=Near Threatened LC=Least Concern DD=Data Deficient NE=Not Evaluated (Click here for a full explanation of IUCN Red List categories.) A note on ‘Data Deficient’ species: Species that are assessed as ‘Data Deficient’ are deemed to have insufficient information known about them to carry out a proper conservation assessment. Although such species are not assessed as threatened, we may find out that they in fact are, once enough data is obtained.

 

Solenostomidae (Ghost pipefishes)

Photo Scientific Name
Common
Name
IUCN Red List Status Profile Range
h-waleananus Solenostomus armatus
Weber, 1913
Armoured Ghost
pipefish
LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western
Pacific
Solenostomus cyanopterus S. cyanopterus
Bleeker, 1854
Robust Ghost pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Indo-Pacific
Solenostomus halimeda S. halimeda
Orr, Fritzsche & Randall, 2002
Halimeda Ghost pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Indo-Pacific
Solenostomus paradoxus S. paradoxus
(Pallas, 1770)
Ornate Ghost pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Indo-West Pacific

Syngnathidae (Pipehorses)

Photo Scientific Name Common
Name
IUCN Red List Status Profile Range
h-waleananus Acentronura australe Waite & Hale, 1921 Southern little pipehorse DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Eastern
Indian Ocean
Acentronura dendritica_Mary-Win_O'Brien_GSOTW A. dendritica  (Barbour, 1905)
West Altantic Pygmy
pipehorse
LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Atlantic
h-waleananus A. gracilissima (Temminck & Schlegel, 1850) Graceful pipehorse LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western
Pacific
h-waleananus A. larsonae     Dawson, 1984
Larson’s pipehorse LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Eastern
Indian Ocean
Acentronura_lumnitzeri_Erik_Schlogl_iNat A. lumnitzeri       (Kuiter, 2004)
Sydney’s Pygmy pipehorse LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Southwestern
Pacific
Acentronura tentaculata_Thomas_Vanderschoot_iNat A. tentaculata Gunther, 1870
Shortpouch Pygmy pipehorse LC logo_eolGBIFurl Indo-West
Pacific

Syngnathidae (Pipefishes)

Photo Scientific Name Common
Name
IUCN Red List Status Profile Range
h-waleananus Anarchopterus criniger (Bean & Dresel, 1884) Fringed pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Atlantic
h-waleananus A. tectus (Dawson, 1978) Insular pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Atlantic
h-waleananus Apterygocampus epinnulatus Weber, 1913 Briareum pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Central Pacific
h-waleananus Bhanotia fasciolata (Dumeril, 1870) Corrugated pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Indo-Pacific
h-waleananus B. nuda Dawson, 1978 Naked pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Central Pacific
h-waleananus B. pauciradiata Allen & Kuiter, 1995 Few-rayed pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Central Pacific
h-waleananus Bryx analicarens
(Duncker, 1915)
Pink pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Indian Ocean
h-waleananus B. dunckeri
(Metzelaar, 1919)
American pugnose pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Atlantic
h-waleananus B. randalli
Herald, 1965
Ocellated pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Atlantic
h-waleananus B. veleronis
Herald, 1940
Offshore pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Eastern Pacific
h-waleananus Bulbonaricus brauni (Dawson & Allen, 1978) Pugheaded pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Indo-Pacific
h-waleananus B. brucei (Dawson, 1984) DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Indo-Pacific
h-waleananus B. davaoensis
(Herald, 1953)
Davao pughead pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Indo-Pacific
h-waleananus Syngnathus macrophthalmus
Duncker, 1915
DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Red Sea
h-waleananus S. makaxi
Herald &
Dawson, 1972
Yucatan pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Tropical
Western
Atlantic
Sypel_u2 S. pelagicus
Linneaus, 1758
Sargassum pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western Atlantic
Syphl_u1 S. phlegon
Risso, 1827
Pelagic pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Mediterranean
10499_orig S. rostellatus
Nilsson, 1855
Nilsson’s pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl NE Atlantic
h-waleananus S. safina
Paulus, 1992
DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Gulf of Aqaba
h-waleananus S. schlegeli
Kaup, 1856
Seaweed Pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl NW Pacific
h-waleananus S. schmidti
Popov, 1928
Black Sea Pelagic Pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Black Sea
h-waleananus S. scovelli
(Evermann & Kendall, 1896)
American Gulf Pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western   Atlantic
h-waleananus S. springeri
Herald, 1942
Bull Pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Western   Atlantic
h-waleananus S. taenionotus
Canestrini, 1871
Darkflank Pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Mediterranean and Black Sea
h-waleananus S. tenuirostris Rathke, 1837 Narrow-snouted Pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Mediterranean, Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Black Sea
h-waleananus S. typhle 

Linnaeus, 1758

Broadnose Pipefish LC logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Eastern Atlantic
h-waleananus S. variegatus Pallas, 1814 Thickly Snouted Pipefish DD logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl Black Sea, Sea of Azov
h-waleananus S. watermeyeri

 Smith, 1963

Estuarine Pipefish CR logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl South Africa
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