| Ecological Descriptors
||50 (but to 100)
Body long and thin, mouth trumpet-like. Dorsal and anal fins set far back on the body. Body adept at color change, most common phase is brown to reddish brown, but can be blue-grey, bright yellow or many shades in between. Body with pale lines, scattered small black spots, upper jaw with a black streak. Mouth opens to diameter of body to suck in prey.
A shallow-dwelling coral/rocky reef fish that lives in clear water, coral habitats and gorgonian and seagrass beds, down to 25 m. Change to blend with the background - either plants or to merge in with other fish, since they are poor swimmers and rely on camouflage to ambush prey. The long tube-like mouth expands to form a powerful suction to catch prey. Often drift in vertical position, with the head down, between the stalks of sea rods as camouflage to stalk their prey, feeding mainly on small fishes and shrimps. Also employs shadow stalking - aligning itself with the dorsal lines of similar coloured fishes.
Males brood eggs in an abdominal pouch, similar to the seahorses/ pipefishes (Syngnathidae).