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9 Pygmy Seahorse Facts 


Ever since they were first discovered in 1969, pygmy seahorse have been one of the stars of the reef attracting hordes of underwater photographers

1 All but one of the seven species so far identified is found in southeast Asia. Coleman’s pygmy is confirmed only from Lord Howe Island off Australia’s east coast

2 Pygmies range in size from 1.4 - 2.7cm, from the snout to the tip of the tail. Human finger nail to toe nail in size

3 Like other seahorses, it’s the male pygmy that becomes pregnant. He gives birth to around a dozen young after a gestation of 10-14 days

4 They feed on tiny crustaceans that share their local habitat

5 Denise’s and Bargibant’s pygmy seahorses are found on seafans usually more than 10m below the surface

6 They have among the smallest home range of any fish, not venturing further than an area the size of a side plate for all their day-to-day activities

7 Pygmy seahorses differ morphologically from all other seahorses, possessing a single rather than paired gill openings in addition to a brood pouch located on the trunk, rather than the tail 

8 They don't have eyelids and are sensitive to light (photographers please note!)

9 Confusingly, there are a couple of tiny seahorses which aren’t true pygmies and generally referred to as ‘dwarf’ seahorses, these include the Debelius and Minotaur species

To discover more see Richard Smith's full article The Mysterious and Intimate World of Pygmy Seahorses in the March 2014 edition of DIVE. Access your free copy


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