I've had the remainder of my blog posts on Indonesia sitting in the drafts folder for far too long now collecting dust. Don't ask me why. I guess I was hoping I could come up with something cheekier to say about the last of the little critters in my photos. But there really isn't all the much written about these sea-dwelling creatures, not compared to the widely adored seahorse or the fiercely fascinating mantis shrimp anyway. So I'll just throw the last of my photos at you with a tidbit of information or two.

This is the ghost pipefish. Little is known about them besides that they look super cool, which is really what it's all about. While they may look quite eye-catching in photos, they are anything but that on the reef. These masters of disguise can perfectly camouflage themselves in with various marine crinoids and algae, and only grow to be about six inches.

Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus)


Juveniles are mostly transparent, and float along in the open blue, being swept along in the ocean currents. If they survive long enough to find a reef, they settle down and find a partner and make little baby ghost pipefish. Although they belong to the same order as seahorses, it is the female that carries the eggs amongst these fish. It is believed that after reproducing, ghost pipefishes will return to the open blue, never to be seen again, much like their ghostly namesake.

Ghost pipefish are capable of changing color, and sex, although the latter has only been observed in aquarium settings, so it is unknown if this practice is common in the wild, or just something they do out of boredom while sitting in a glass box all day.

Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus)

This species is mostly found amongst feather stars, where they look just like another feathery arm. While they will change color to blend in with their surroundings, it has also been noted that pairs will often try to match colors with each other, much like Chinese honeymooners who wear matching t-shirts.

Here you see see a closeup of a feather star. It might not even be obvious right away that there is a little fish hiding amongst the feathers. 

Better contrast of the same ornate ghost pipefish. 


Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus)

This species is usually found amongst seagrass and algae due to its leafy appearance. Unlike the ornate, these guys are a little more American in that they run and change as soon as they notice they put on the same shirt as their partner. 

This really just looks like a bit of seagrass floating over the bottom. Can you make out the fish? 

A beautiful, off-white variation of the robust ghost pipefish. 

Harlequin Swimming Crab (Lissocarcinus laevis) 

I love this little purple crab, in his little purple sea anemone. There are no remarkable facts or tidbits about this guy other than the usual crabby stuff (did you know that some crabs have teeth in their stomachs?). But he has a stellar knack for color coordination.

This little fellow is about the size of a pea and his shrimp friend, a lima bean. 

He has such great taste in color! 


That's it for the critters I'm afraid! I hope you've enjoyed getting to know the animals under the sea that aren't the usual shark and turtle suspects. I have one more post about Lembeh coming, though a land based one, and then it's on to the next adventure!