Latin name

Solenostomus paradoxus

Other names

Harlequin ghost pipefish


Vertebrae: 32-33. Post pelagic fishes are almost completely transparent and thinner compared to those formed in the benthic phase. The total number of plates on the body is 31-35. 

Features of fish fins

Dorsal spines (total): 5; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-21; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 17-21. Caudal fin truncate, rounded or lanceolate. 

Fish colouring

Colors range from red to yellow to black, sometimes almost transparent. 


Found in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans along coral reefs: from eastern Africa (Red Sea) to Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to southeastern Australia and New Caledonia. Recently sighted off Tonga. 


A marine, tropical, reef associated species. Depth range from 4 to 35 meters.


Reach a maximum length of 12 cm. 


Adults are usually found along the edges of reefs in areas exposed to currents. Rare species are found singly or in pairs among branches of gorgonians, floating algae or crinoids. 

Food and feeding habits

They feed mainly on clams, but also prey on small bottom dwelling shrimp. 


Females lay eggs in the pelvic fins, which are modified to form a brood pouch.


This species is not interesting for fishermen.

Relationship with a person

Ornate Ghost Pipefish are commonly used in the aquarium hobby.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Syngnathiformes
Family Solenostomidae
Genus Syngnathiformes
Species S. paradoxus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 12
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Not edible
Way of eating Predator

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Ornate ghost pipefish

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