The News Lens
By: Shreya Dasgupta
Pygmy seahorses are fascinating animals. These tiny, colorful seahorses measure less than an inch (2.7 centimeters) and match their body colors and textures to those of the vibrant corals they call home. But these diminutive masters of camouflage are also extremely hard to spot. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that very little is understood about the seven pygmy seahorse species currently known to science.
But Colin Wen, a marine biologist at Taiwan’s Tunghai University, and his colleagues got creative.
Their hunt for pygmy seahorses initially started with a search for Denise’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise), a species that was first described in 2003 from Indonesia. The species hadn’t been recorded in Taiwan yet, although Wen and his colleagues had heard of rumored sightings at Orchid Island from their scuba diver friends.
“By chance, shortly after asking friends in the dive industry to record sightings of pygmy seahorses for us, a photo of H. denise taken at Orchid Island surfaced on social media,” Wen told Mongabay.