Feed on

Some of you might remember when at the end of thee last millenium the first photos of pygmy seahorses appeared all over the dive magazines. It was almost as they discovered a new species. Did you know that the pygmy seahorse was already discovered in 1960!? Of course then there were not many underwater photographer around, the cameras were not so brilliant either and divers were rare.

Originally discovered in the 1960’s by the divers at the Aquarium of Noumea in New Caledonia, Bargibanti’s Pygmy Sea Horse (Hippocampus bargibanti) was described by the then Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum Gilbert Whitley in 1970. It was just another scientific discovery and not much note was taken.

It was the first pygmy sea horse to be named and until Alan Power – Vanuatu’s dive legend – found another one at 50 metres on a sea fan at Santo, Vanuatu in the early 1970’s. Still not much excitement was created and it remained virtually unknown until specimens became suddenly well known throughout Papua New Guinea over the last 20 years.

The first pygmy seahorses in Indonesia were found by the late Larry Smith, then manager of the Kungkunganbay Resort in Lembeh in the 1995. Our friend and genius underwater photographer Juergen (Yogi) Freund happened to be there at the time and when he jumped on board Pindito a couple of days later on a cruise in Raja Ampat he showed his dive guides what to look out for. Within weeks numerous locations for pygmy seahorses were charted and more species were dicovered. The rest is history.

Today we know of at least 9 different species and we are still counting.

(Source: own research,  Neville Coleman)


Leave a Reply