Robust ghost pipefish

Robust ghost pipefish

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ghost pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus) male. The pipefish is the vertical green structure down centre right. It is camouflaged amid strands of algae (brighter green, lower left and right). It's head is at lower centre. The imitation of plants by animals is known as phytomimesis. This pipefish inhabits algae and sea grass beds in the tropical Indo-Pacific region, and feeds mainly on small crustaceans. When threatened it moves near plants and lies still, relying on its camouflage for protection. This is the largest of the ghost pipefish, reaching a length of up to 15 centimetres. Photographed off Kapalai, Malaysia.

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Keywords: algae, animal, aquatic, asia, asian, bony fish, camouflage, camouflaged, crypsis, cryptic colouration, ghost pipefish, harlequin, hidden, hiding, indo-pacific, kapalai, malaysia, malaysian, male, marine, mimesis, mimetic, mimic, mimicry, nature, ocean, phytomimesis, pisces, plant, sea, seaweed, solenostomus cyanopterus, tropical, tropics, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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