Criptic Critters ! Ghostpipefish, Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu

Ornate or Harlequin Ghostpipefish – Solenostomus paradoxus

Closely related to the family Syngnathidae – Seahorses and Pipefish they are from same order and share the long tube like snout.

Easily identified and arguably the most elaborate of Syngnathiformes, the Ornate or Harlequin Ghostpipefish is a highly prized discovery among divers and underwater photographers and we have several pairs around Gaya Island and within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

The fins of the Ornate Ghostpipefish are well developed, large and as the name suggests ornately decorated.

Spending most of its time in a head down position, drifting or slowly swimming in gentle surge and currents. In our image to the left, photographed by Richard just a couple of minutes from our PADI 5 Star IDC Centre on Gaya Island, you can see a pair of Ghostpipefish cryptically nestled among the branches of a feather star.

Their coloration is variable and the female has much larger ventral fins to store her eggs. Males are generally smaller in size than females, who grow to approximately 10cm in length. If undisturbed they will remain in the same host fauna for many weeks allowing us to revisit and respectfully show our divers !!!

Gaya Island and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park – TARP offers some fabulous scuba diving possibilities, teeming with marine life it should not be missed by divers coming to Sabah.

For more information on SCUBA diving Gaya Island, TARP and Sabah’s West Coast, please have a look at our leisure and fun diving section.

For more information on the marine creatures you are likely to see please peruse our Marine Biology Section of the website. All information and photography is the work of Richard and Joanne, Directors of Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures.


Cryptic Critters! Ghostpipefish, Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu