Name that Pipefish

A few weeks ago a friend told us that he saw
a pipefish on the reef, so today we went for a look and actually found

I snapped some photos and now we're trying to identify the
little guy/gal. The body looks just like the Whitenose pipefish in the
Humann book, but the "nose" isn't white. In the blurb about the
Harlequin pipefish, the Humann book mentions a separate species
called Banded, which is just like the Harlequin but with white bands
instead of yellow, but this fella had more of a stripe thing going on -
not thick bands. Maybe it's a juvie of either the Banded or Whitenose? Or maybe pipefish have color variations at different stages?

Details: about 5 inches long, found in St. Kitts, shallow reef (8 ft of
water), mid-day, slides on belly rather than swims, hanging out near
some gorgonian, then under a sea urchin, then finally disappeared under
a rock, tired of the paparazzi.
Looking forward to any help on this one!

Here are the pics:



PiC 3

Name That Pipefish

Pipefish can be a real challenge to identify at times.  It's also tough to take photos underwater.  Unfortunately there may not be enough details in your photos to positively ID the fish.  But I think it's a very safe bet that the piepfish isn't a whitenose or banded.  If there were distinct ridges on the body, which I can't tell for sure, it could be an opossum.  But I think the odds are greater that it's a shortfin.  Maybe someone else has a better take on the pipefish in your photos.

Diver Dave
AAT Member (TWA) - REEF Member Since 1998

looks like a shortfin to me

looks like a shortfin to me too. pipefish are always different colors so that makes it hard to id. but this is the one I see most often.

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