First Pygmy Seahorse to be found in Indian Ocean

Seahorse

The African or Sodwana Bay pygmy seahorse © Richard Smith - OceanRealmImages.com

Researchers have discovered a pygmy seahorse in South Africa.  The other known seven species of pygmy seahorse come from either the Coral Triangle or one from Japan.

 The discovery is the first time the species has been found in the continent of Africa and in the Indian Ocean.

'It's like finding a kangaroo in Norway,' said Richard Smith, a marine biologist based in the United Kingdom and co-author of a new study on the species, known as the African or Sodwana Bay pygmy seahorse.

The new species named Hippocampus nalu  appears similar to other pygmy seahorses, except that it has one set of spines on its back that have sharp, incisor-like points on the tips.

The discovery has extended the known range of pygmy seahorse by more than 8,000 kilometres from where the other examples were discovered in the Central and Eastern Indo-Pacific ocean.

Savannah Nalu Olivier, a dive instructor from Pisces Diving in  Sodwana Bay, South Africa, during the course of a  dive with beginners, observed and photographed multiple individuals of the diminutive seahorse on a  flat, sandy-algal reef in 2017. Subsequent investigation revealed that these diminutive seahorses, although similar to H. pontohi and H. japapigu in appearance and colouration, differed markedly in a number of characters, and represent a new species and the first confirmed record of a true pygmy seahorse from South Africa, the African continent, and the Indian Ocean.

 

 

mulipack

THREE AMAZING DIVE eBOOKS - FREE

Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection of real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Trending

  1. Articles
  2. Comments

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below


PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...