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The quest for Lynne’s Pipefish

 

Festucalex rufus Pygmy Pipefish-webDiving in the coral triangle never gets boring. You think you have seen it all but then always something new and exiting pops up.

Over the last months I had several conversations with our dive guide Aswar regarding a pipefish he had seen during dives around Bangka Island but he had been unable to identify it. He described as a thin (aren’t all pipefish thin?), red – dark red colored and living in between algae, tunicates, hydroids and small sponges. Several times he spotted it during a dive but when coming back to the same spot it was not there anymore. For Aswar it was becoming a quest to find this pipefish.

A few months ago I found this on facebook on the Blenny Watcher page and I immediately realized that this was the pipefish Aswar had been spotting on a regular basis now. This only made me more excited because it turned out to be a very rare pipefish and only just described by Mark Erdmann and Gerry Allen. Check out this link to find out more about Lynne’s Pipefish, Festucalex rufus, how it was discovered and where it has been seen.

So far so good but we still did not have any prove about the Lynne’s Pipefish living around Bangka Island other then Aswar’s stories on seeing it. Then finally, last February, one of our guest was able to photograph Lynne’s Pipefish on the dive site Tanjung Usi, right around the corner of the resort.

Aswar’s quest was over and we had proof that Lynne’s Pipefish is living on the reefs surrounding Bangka Island.

Lynne's Pipefish

Lynne’s Pipefish (Festucalex rufus)

 

Big thanks to Virginia Smith for sharing her images with us.

 

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