The Reproductive Habits of the Ghost Pipefish (A Limerick)

Ringed or Banded Pipefish (Dunckerocampus dactyliophorus), another member of the Syngnathidae family

Since my last limerick about ornate ghost pipefishes was so well received, it seemed to me that the only thing to do was to pen another one. This one highlights the reproductive habits of the ghost pipefish, and how they differ from the "true" pipefishes and seahorses.

There is an important taxonomic divide between the ghost pipefish and the "true" pipefish. You see, the ghost pipefish is a member of the taxonomic family Solenostomidae. The true pipefishes and the seahorses belong to the family Sygnathidae. Together, both families comprise the order Sygnathiformes.

Yellow thorny seahorse (Hippocampus histrix), a member of Sygnathidae

Yellow thorny seahorse (Hippocampus histrix), a member of Sygnathidae

Ringed or Banded Pipefish (Dunckerocampus dactyliophorus), another member of the Syngnathidae family

Ringed or Banded Pipefish (Dunckerocampus dactyliophorus), another member of the Syngnathidae family

The Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus), a "false pipefish" belonging to the family Solenostomidae

The Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus), a "false pipefish" belonging to the family Solenostomidae

The Ornate or Harlequin Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus), another "false pipefish" belonging to the Solenostomidae family

The Ornate or Harlequin Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus), another "false pipefish" belonging to the Solenostomidae family

Now that we've gotten that pesky Latin out of the way...

Everybody knows that the male seahorse broods the young. This is also true for the true pipefishes; after the female lays the eggs, the male incubates them in a ventral pouch or attached to his tail.

Another pipefish, species unknown

Another pipefish, species unknown

Another pipefish, species unknown

Another pipefish, species unknown

Not so for our Solenostomidae friends! The ghost pipefish is a little more traditional, and leaves the egg incubation to the ladies.

The Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus), a "false pipefish" belonging to the family Solenostomidae

The Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus), a "false pipefish" belonging to the family Solenostomidae

This brings us to our poem:

When asked of his ties to the seahorse,

the ghost pipefish replied in due course:

“Though I lack a pouch,

“our girls are no slouch,

“and they tend to their eggs without remorse.”


6 Responses to “The Reproductive Habits of the Ghost Pipefish (A Limerick)”

  1. Jessica Fiorillo says:

    Awesome pictures!

    · March 18, 2014 @ 7:18 am

    Reply

  2. Great shots, not always easy to snap shots from moving creatures.

    · March 18, 2014 @ 11:45 am

    Reply

    • Ashley Hauck says:

      Thank you, Jay! But the ghost pipefish actually don’t move around all that much. They’re tough to spot because they tend to just hover around!

      · March 18, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

      Reply

  3. melody says:

    THese are awesome! Love the seahorse shot. – melody

    · March 19, 2014 @ 8:12 am

    Reply

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