Bali Underwater - Pygmy Seahorse

 

Little Pygmy Seahorse, the Smallest Seahorse in the World

Everybody knows how hard is to spot pygmy seahorse as the tiny, brightly coloured marine animal is an expert camouflage artist..It takes its name from the fact that it is so tiny, and has often been overlooked by researchers and biologists. Measuring less than 1.5 cm in length, it is the smallest seahorse in the world. Most species of pygmy seahorse have been discovered only in recent years, and I believe many more out there are yet to be discovered. So if you wanna make your name famous you may just find the way how. Wikipedia teaches us that the very first species was discovered by a scuba diver in 1969 and only by chance. So far we know that pygmy seahorse species consists of nine known subspecies. They live mostly on corals, algae and sea grass beds, off the coasts of Indonesia, Japan, New Caledonia, the Philippines, Australia, Papua New Guinea and obviously  we have them in Bali at many spots too. Mostly they do not migrate and prefer a temperature range of 22-28 Celsius. You find these cute creatures mainly in two colours either purple with red or pink tubercles or yellow with orange tubercles. These irregular bulbous can be found all over their fleshy body. They also have a little crown-like hat, on top of their head, known as a cornet.

Another very interesting fact about them is that they all swim upright with the help of their dorsal fin their tail always curled to the front. This tail also helps them to cling to the coral. Although tiny, Pygmys are carnivores and feed on zoo plankton very little crustaceans and perhaps the tissue of their host coral too. Well and because they do not have a stomach to store food they need to feed continuously in order to survive. Though much of their life-cycle is still unknown, one thing is clear: the female puts her eggs into the male’s brood pouch, usually 10-12 eggs per breeding. Their babies look like even smaller versions of their parents when the eggs are hatched.The status of pygmy seahorses is classified as being ‘data deficient’ because very little is known about their habitat distribution and population trends, though they have been illegally traded because of their magnificent beauty. Efforts are being made for their conservation, but their amazing ability to blend in with their background and hide is making it more challenging. If you ever come across these beautiful, tiny seahorses, try not to disturb them. These rare and delicate creatures are better off in their habitat and are not suitable for captivity.