Micro Curiosity

Spot The Seahorse

Pygmy Seahorses are miniature Syngnathids which are obligate inhabitants of Gorgonian Sea Fans.

For many years at our marine site in Indonesia we only knew of one fan which harbored Pygmy’s, however it turned out we just wern’t looking hard enough. Over the last year we have found these wonderful miniatures at almost every dive site. So why had we never spotted them before?

Until recently only one species of Pygmy seahorse was knows, this recently changed when 6 new species were described. turns out no one else had been looking very hard either!

Pygmy seahorses are just 1.4 – 2.7 cm and incredibly well camouflaged. Very little is known about their lifecyle and status and so much care must be taken to protect these species.

If you spot Pygmy’s be careful not to let your bubbles disturb the fan, do not try to touch or capture the seahorses and never use flash photography. No one as of yet has been able to rear or keep Pygmy seahorses in captivity, highlighting their sensitive needs.

For more information check out Dr Richard Smiths website, one of the only Pygmy Seahorse experts

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