5. Pygmy seahorses are a group of seven species of miniature syngnathids (technical name for seahorses and pipefish) fish that live in the Coral Triangle region of southeast Asia. That, in turn, means the pygmy seahorse faces an uncertain future. Bibliographic References Sadly, pristine coral reefs like this one in West Papua, Indonesia (18), are becoming much harder to find. Tom was still very deflated after having given birth 20 minutes or so before. A Pontoh’s pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus pontohi Just one species of pygmy seahorse was known before the turn of the millennium. They range in length from 1.4 – 2.7 cm between the tip of the tail to the end of the snout. Genetic analysis shows the Japanese pygmy seahorse split from all others around 8 million years ago. After hours trawling the internet, I tracked down a location where I thought I might find it and headed to the small island of Hachijō-jima, south of Tokyo. The Japanese pygmy seahorse has also been found off the coast of Taiwan. Cite this page as: 9. Pontoh’s pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus pontohi) do not live on gorgonian fans but instead they are found on algae such as halimeda algae and various sea grasses. This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed. An undescribed species of ghost pipefish, commonly known as the velvetghost pipefish (12), tends to live around brightly coloured sponges, and each individual pipefish matches exactly the colour of the sponge immediately adjacent to where it lives. So the pygmies actually do look pregnant with a big belly. 45335); pontohi: Named for Hence Pontoh, the Indonesian dive guide who first brought these pygmy seahorses to our attention. It wasn’t until I was presenting at another conference a few years later that things started moving forwards. Lynne’s pipefish, Festucalex rufus (14), was only named in 2015. (pontohi), also known as Weedy Pygmy Seahorse, a species not yet described. Pygmy seahorses are a group of seven species of miniature syngnathids (technical name for seahorses and pipefish) fish that live in the Coral Triangle region of southeast Asia. It is important the female doesn’t begin to prepare the eggs for mating too early as they may spoil if the male is not ready. The other main difference is the gills. It is only found in one small bay in central Sulawesi, Indonesia, where it lives only on the surface of certain soft corals. Two risk factors for a species’ chance of extinction are their habitat specificity and geographic range. The thorny seahorse (Hippocampus histrix) Is very rare in the waters of Okinawa. Graham Short, an expert in seahorse taxonomy, came and spoke to me, which immediately began a flurry of seahorse excitement. Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Syngnathiformes (Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses) > Hippocampinae Etymology: Hippocampus: Greek, ippos = horse + Greek,kampe = curvature (Ref. Again, it evaded detection owing to its small size, habitat specificity and highly efficient camouflage. Japanese pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus japapigu)The Japanese pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus japapigu, (known locally as 日本のピグミータツノオトシゴ or Japapigu) is a newly described species of pygmy seahorse found, as the name suggests, in Japan. Several years ago a diver came across a strange fish and assumed it was New Zealand’s first indigenous seahorse. The Pontohi pygmy seahorse has been found so far only in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, but in various habitats such as hydroids or plants. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek hippokampos (ἱππόκαμπος hippókampos), itself from hippos (ἵππος híppos) meaning "horse" and kampos (κάμπος kámpos) meaning "sea monster". A Pontoh’s pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus pontohi. The new Sodwana Pygmy Seahorse is tiny, growing to just over 2 cm (about the size of a grain of rice) and has a honey-brown colour overlaid with a white netted pattern and a reddish tail. The Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse was first seen in 2003 in Bunaken (by a local guide named Hence Pontoh) and officially described in 2008 – so it is a rather recently discovered species. greatest threats comes from coral bleaching, The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs. • What is the size of a pygmy seahorse? As they entered his reproductive system he fertilised them. An adult Pontohi, or weedy, pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus pontohi. Their dark colour gives them some degree of camouflage in the open ocean and they will spend two to three weeks floating freely in currents, before settling to a gorgonian of their own. All About Pygmys. 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