Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
Harlequin Ghost Pipefish Solenostomus paradoxus
The harlequin ghost pipefish looks as though it has wings attached to the sides of its long, thin body. In reality, these are greatly enlarged pelvic fins in which the female broods her eggs. The fins are modified to form a pouch, where the eggs remain until they hatch. The harlequin ghost pipefish is an uncommon species that occurs in a wide variety of bright colors and patterns that mimic the reef feather stars and black corals among which it lives. The harlequin ghost pipefish also often swims head-down and so gains further camouflage by aligning its body with the branches among which it swims.