Solenostomus, also known as the ghost pipefishes, false pipefishes or tubemouth fishes, is a genus of fishes in the order Syngnathiformes. Solenostomus is the only genus in the family Solenostomidae, and includes six currently recognized species.[2][3] Ghost pipefishes are related to pipefishes and seahorses. They are found in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.[4]

Temporal range: 55.8–0 Ma Eocene to Present[1]
Ornate Ghost Pipefish.jpg
Two Solenostomus paradoxus specimens
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Superfamily: Syngnathoidea
Family: Solenostomidae
Bonaparte, 1846
Genus: Solenostomus
Lacépède, 1803
Type species
Fistularia paradoxa
Pallas,, 1770

See text


Solenostomatichthys Bleeker, 1874

The animals, none of which are longer than 17 centimetres (6.7 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.[4]

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.[4]

Ornate ghostpipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus.



  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  2. ^ Orr, J.W. and R.A. Fritzsche. 1993. Revision of the ghost pipefishes, family Solenostomidae (Teleostei: Syngnathoidei). Copeia 1993(1): 168-182.
  3. ^ Family Solenostomidae [1] FishBase. Accessed 1 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Orr, J.W. & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). 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.

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