Solenostomus halimeda, a New Species of Ghost Pipefish (Teleostei: Gasterosteiformes) from the Indo-Pacific, with a Revised Key to the known species of the Family Solenostomidae

James Wilder Orr, Ronald Alan Fitzsche and John Ernest Randall

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 99-108, Volume 5, Issue 3 – June 2002


Solenostomus halimeda is described as a new species of the solenostomidae, the ghost pipefishes, from specimens collected from the Maldives, western Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Mariana Islands. The new species differs from all other solenostomids in the length of its spinous dorsal pelvic, and caudal fins, its truncate caudal fin, lower dorsal and anal fin ray counts, and small size at sexual maturity. Solenostomus halimeda is most similar to S. cyanopterus, from which it also differs in its more slender snout, absence of a premaxillary spine in males, and presence of abdominal prickles. Unlike S. paradoxus, S. halimeda possesses multifid dermal papillae, nasal lamellae of males that fill only half the olfactory pit, and a reduced supraoccipital ridge. Unlike S. armatus, the new species ha a reduced supraoccipital ridge and a more robust body, and females have a small dorsal patch of nasal lamellae and a convex pelvic fin margin. A revised key to adults of the family, and colour photographs of Solenostomus halimeda, S. paradoxus, S. cyanopterus  and a diagram of S. armatus are provided.

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