Bright green longsnout pipefish

Sea life: Pipefish

Bright green longsnout pipefish
Bright green longsnout pipefish on the sand at Long Beach

Tony has a soft spot for pipefish – they are related to seahorses (and he loves those), and share many physical features such as the shape of their snouts, and the small (seemingly ineffectual) fins that propel them through the water. Like seahorses, the males incubate the eggs – sometimes we find really chubby specimens with little bulging tummies, and I suspect those are the dutiful fathers.

Longsnout pipefish at Long Beach
Longsnout pipefish at Long Beach

The type of pipefish that we find in Cape Town, the longsnout pipefish, comes in an array of colours, from bright green to brown. They’re usually spotted curled around a piece of sea grass, but sometimes out on the sand as well. They generally seem very laid back and sluggish in the water, but are capable of whip-like bursts of speed when they put their minds to it.

Pipefish at Long Beach
One of Tony's pictures of a pipefish at Long Beach

We mostly see them at Long Beach, where there’s lots of plant life for them to hide in amongst.

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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