Pipefish amaze in Mauritius


Mauritius continues to reveal new and exciting macro marine life.

I have looked through all my fish books and three of these four pipefish species are not described. It’s all the doing of Thomas Vignaud, who sees things that ordinary mortals completely ignore. We have the most amazing pipefish here.

I spotted a pale banded pipefish, heavily pregnant with two others interacting and perhaps fighting over the food supply, and I filmed them. The video below shows something that almost looks like a pipefish baby shower.

Hiding in caves were the flagtail pipefish, ferocious predators and hunters, nailing every little benthic invertebrate microbe in sight while his mate hid behind him egging him on to greater daring. And his landlord, a golden Moray, watched in awe.

Beautiful but elusive are the blue streaked and gold streaked flag tailed pipefish that we find hiding out in the sea urchin spikes. Superbly posed for photographs, you really need to really know your manual focus to catch a shot of these guys as the urchin spikes and can create huge difficulties with focus.

And most romantic of all, the only familiar species, hanging head down and swaying like seaweed the pairs of ghost pipefish, dancing romantically in the current while they wait for their food to arrive. Macro Magic.

Jill Holloway

Jill Holloway

Jill Holloway lives in Mauritius and at Sodwana Bay Isimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa. A PADI qualified Nitrox diver with over 1,500 dives, she is a passionate observer and preserver of the marine environment, and has a database of over 35,000 fish pics and hundreds of Gopro videos on fish behaviour, which she shares with her readers.

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