Ornate pipefish

Called an Ornate pipefish, this three to four-inch (7-10 cm) specimen is as cryptic as most of its sea dragon and seahorse cousins.   Along the flat dorsal trunk are numerous yellow plates with wing-like extensions. Also contributing to the unusually creative disguise are various other small, circular designs which blend well with the surrounding reef features, such as the purple-colored encrusting corals. This animal is protected in Australia under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, where it is also known by the common name "Whiskered pipefish".  Sea dragons, seahorses and pipefishes belong to family Syngnathidae.

Halicampus macrorhynchus

related links:

more on the Ornate pipefish from the Australian Museum's Fish Site
more info on the Ornate pipefish from Fishbase

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