Banded Pipefish are famous for their elaborate courtship dance, twisting and intertwining their long bodies. Because of their sleek, spear-like shape they’re often confused for eels!
The Banded Pipefish or Ringed Pipefish is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific region, preferring the protected reef habitats of tidal pools and lagoons where it can hide in caves and crevices up to a depth of approximately 50m. It has an elongated body which reaches up to 18cms in length, a long tubular snout, distinctive dark bands, and a colourful flag-like caudal tail. Unlike its Seahorse cousins the Banded Pipefish is a strong swimmer and glides effortlessly through the water in a vertical position, even turning upside down on cave ceilings or in the pursuit of prey. Like its Seahorse cousins, the male broods the young. It dines mostly on minute copepods, which it ambushes on the seafloor via camouflage and stealth. As the vision shows, the Banded Pipefish occur as pairs or even small groups, and enjoy hunting side-by-side for their dinner.