Searching Feather Stars for the Masters of Disguise


A mature ornate ghost pipefish /  Pauline Gast/Fisheye Underwater Productions

The waters in El Nido in the Philippines are getting colder... and for divers that means one thing. Ghost pipefish season!

Hence the instructors and dive masters hovering over every feather star for a bit longer than normal.

They are looking for these tiny and extremely well disguised animals. A favourite with macro hunters and photographers these beautiful and unique animals hover motionless in and around the feather stars for protection and hunting purposes.


shutterstock 135431276

shutterstock 121851160

shutterstock 259286657

Ghost pipefish are not actually in the same taxonomic group as the pipefish and seahorse. They are in the Solenostomidae family, while the pipefish and seahorses are Sygnathidae. But they are related and belong to the order Sygnathiformes.

Probably the most famous of the ghost pipefish is the ornate ghost pipefish (also known as harlequin ghost pipefish). With the small spikes and protrusions covering its entire body and amazing colour patterns you can see why it is a favourite. These protrusions act as camouflage, breaking up its outline, so they can be extremely difficult to find.


A juvenile ornate ghost pipefish /  Pauline Gast/Fisheye Underwater Productions

Here is a short video by Fisheye Underwater Productions all about the ornate ghostpipefish, from their almost transparent juvenile stage to the  fully grown adults on the reefs.


Fisheye Underwater Productions is based in El Nido - to discover more click here





Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...