Today (7-22-12) while out looking in the "seahorse pasture" we noticed a pipefish swimming near a seahorse.

It is really small and quite difficult to try to get a focused shot of down in the sea bed. I believe it is an

Edmondson's pipe fish which are endemic to Hawaii and rarely seen.

In the out of focus shot above, the pipefish is in the lefthand foreground and the adult female seahorse can be

seen exiting the frame, upper right.

Close crop of above image:

I took some video with the GoPro:

I have looked for this pipe fish a number of times now to to avail. 5 days later and in really poor visibility I was ready to call

it quits after an hour of searching and not finding any seahorses let alone the pipe fish. I would have to dive down from the

surface to see any detail in the seabed. I searched the entire area where I have seen seahorses in the past but nothing.

I told myself one last dive and I was within feet of where I had first seen the pipe fish and as I got my face close to the

bottom darned if I didn't see it! On the next trip down I noticed a second, smaller one probablhy half the size!

The vis was so bad I couldn't tell if my camera was even pointed in the right difrection let alone focused. I took a few shots

but figured the GoPro would do a better job of at least documenting these fish and their existance.

I could see them checking on each other and when one would move to a new clump of algae the other would

eventually follow.

In the video below, both can be seen at times:

Hopefully I will be able to add some better images to this page as time goes on and should I encounter them again.


I went out the next AM feeling somewhat confident that the pipe fish have chosen the area as a residence and that I might

see them again. The vis was terrible once again and I suspect due to the strong trade wind direction coupled with strong

tide and a small south swell running. I made a couple dives down and realized that even if I found the pipefish I wasn't

going to get any decent shots of them. While floating on the surface and trying to decide if I should just head back to

shore, I spotted a double helix of dark coming up from the blurry bottom. My imediate guess was no doubt purely wishful

thinking but turned out to be correct, none the less! It was a pair of these pipe fish in what I can only assume to be a

mating embrace! There is no way my camera would have found focus on the pair up in the water column and they were

done anyway. I did follow them down to the sand though and got some more "proof" shots.


I have been looking for the pipe fish on and off since the first encounter and this afternoon I found one within

feet of where I have seen them before. I believe this is indicative of them being territorial in the same fashion as

the seahorses, just so much more difficult to see.

Knowing no better, I suspect this is a gravid male and the female may again show up when it's time for

the next batch, much like the seahorses behave.

The shot below shows the relative size of the pipe fish in a full frame without cropping as I have with these

other images.

After being out there for an hour, and getting cold I felt I had hopefully added to my images of these pipe fish

and I went back to the beach. After getting warmed up I decided to go out again with a different camera set up

with a macro lens. I took about 6 shots and was getting the hang of it when the battery died. Four of the shots I 

got are below:

I finally got a shot where you can see its eyes. Hopefully I can get more when there is more sunshine.

On 8-14-12 I went out in the morning and then afternoon and saw a pipe fish both times. I believe it is a female.

On 8-15-12, Again I went out in the AM and then afternoon for scond look. Both times again I found a pipe

fish and the images below are all of what I believe to be a smaller fish and likely the female. When I first got

out there in the morning, I did see two fish in the same clump of Acanthophora but by the time I got sorted out

with the camera and down for some shots, I only saw and photographed the smaller one again.

These fish are really small and difficult to photograph in the algae with the surge and sand flying around.

At one point this fish came out and found the twig satisfactory for bracing against. It gave me some time to

get multiple shots with most of the fish exposed.

It curled around the stick and remained in place for a few minutes.







The saga of these pipe fish continue on this new web page.