The pipefish is a special creature, being related to seahorses and very similar – only the pipefish is long and straight instead of curled into spirals like its more famous cousins.
Pipefish share many seahorse characteristics. It is happy in a brackish esturine environment and different species are found in coastal waters all over the world.
These fish prefer to be close to the seabed in sea kelp beds and sea grass. Like seahorses, males carry most of the parenting responsibilities.
They carry the eggs in a pouch under the tail and give live birth, another trait the seahorse shares. The female deposits the eggs in the sac after an elaborate ritual of courtship, which varies among populations.
Estuarine pipefish, which were thought to be extinct, were “rediscovered” in a small lagoon near Port Alfred, after 34 years of no sightings. It would seem that this is the only place where they still occur.
Find out more about pipefish or visit the Aquarium to see the amazing pipefish exhibit.