Lots of Mushroom Coral Pipefish
Siokunichthys nigrolineatus

 

Mushroom Coral Pipefish are one of my favourite critters. As their name suggests they make their home in the polyps of Mushroom Coral. They are pretty rare and usually you find one or occasionally two in the coral.

We were therefore extremely lucky to find ten (yes 10) in one coral!! I had never seen anything like it before. Not only are they incredibly beautiful, they are also one of the most challenging critters to film and photograph. They inhabit the base of the coral, so you have to always contend with the swaying polyp tentacles which are always getting in the way of the pipefish at the bottom. And they are white. White is always so tricky to capture without over-exposing your shots and blowing out all the detail. However, as always, patience pays off, as does good buoyancy. You can see Barb taking photos and you can see how she stays off the sandy bottom. This protects the environment and has the added benefit of not kicking sand up, which will ruin your shot.

We found them on one of our new south side sites, our famous volcano site, Batu Lompa (Hard Boiled).

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