We all love to see whale sharks and manta rays and although we did see them during the last season in the Similan Islands, my favorite dive was when I was taking a picture of an ornate ghost pipefish and it gave birth right in front of me. I have written below how it happen including location and I have also added a few fun facts about the ornate ghost pipefish and what to do if you come across this beautiful creature.
How did it happen?
While I was diving in Richelieu rock, I knew the location of this beautiful species, the ornate ghost pipefish, so I decided to pay it a visit and take a picture of it.
As I am getting ready to take the picture, I looked through the view finder, got it on focus and shot. It is amazing how beautiful their color and shape is so I staying a bit longer to just observe it and then it happen, this pregnant ornate ghost pipefish had its baby popped out right in front of me. It was extremely exciting and even if there was a whale shark swimming right on top of me, I would not take my eyes of this incredible event.
Facts about Ghost pipefish
Ornate ghost pipefish can be see in Red Sea and East Africa to Fiji, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.. They vary in color from red or yellow to black and they can be transparent at an younger age and they have bony plates instead of scales. Females will carry the eggs in their pelvic fins, forming a pouch and if you look closely, you can actually see inside and they open and close the fins to move oxygen through them.
Although they are not true pipefish, they are related to them as well as to the sea horse which is also one of our favorite fish.
How can we find them?
As the season starts, we would know where they are and normally they stay in the same spot for a while. If you don’t know their location you need to look at crevices and sea fans as they are well camouflaged and some time they can be hard to find. They normally stay in pairs and they float facing down, resembling a piece of sea fan. Once you find them, avoid using strobes while taking pictures and do not interact with them. They can get easily disturbed and move places, meanwhile, they can become preys as they search for a new home.