Pygmy Seahorse – Nature Camouflage At Its Best

Photo credit : [IG]@michiel.van.staveren

Pygmy Seahorse can be defined as the smallest marine animal in the ocean. It is hard to differentiate a pygmy seahorse from its habitat. They have extreme camouflage. So most probably, you will find it in a lab than seen in the ocean. This creature was discovered by a scuba driver named George Barigbant in 1969. There are about 9 species of Pygmy Seahorses. The count is only up to now. Even the researchers are not sure about this number as it is hard to figure out them under the ocean. So it can be changed at any time.

Let’s check out more about the tiny pygmy seahorse.

Size of the pygmy seahorse

The pygmy seahorse is a small creature. It grows up to the length of 1.4 – 2.7 cm. The length is taken from the tip of the tail to the end of the snout.


The Pygmy Seahorse has attractive colors. Their colors can vary from bright red to dull grey. So there are pygmies with red or pink tubercles and yellow bodies with orange tubercles. It depends on the color of the color reef to which they anchor.


You will see pygmy sea horses in coastal areas around southern Japan and Indonesia to North Australia. It is also available in New Caledonia on reefs and slopes. Bali is one of the famous destinations for seahorses. So you may be able to see a pygmy seahorse there.


Adult Pygmy seahorses are found in pairs or clusters of pairs. Just like other sea horses, Pygmy Seahorse carries the young. Female lays eggs. The male has a brood pouch in the trunk region. So the female pygmy seahorse lays an egg in that pouch. The male seahorse fertilizes eggs. They incubate eggs until birth. The gestation lasts for about two weeks. A male expels about 34 living young at a time. The fry or young looks like miniature adults. The new babies are independent since birth. They don’t get parental care. The babies are dark in color.

Fun Facts about Pygmy Seahorse

Photo credit : [IG]@michiel.van.staveren
  • Pygmy seahorse has a prehensile tail similar to the ones of replies and land mammals. It helps them to hold onto the strands of corals.
  • Pygmy seahorses are not good at swimming. They use their tail as an anchor on their host. So pygmy seahorse’s tail is very useful to them.
  • It is not easy to find a pygmy seahorse. They usually get the color of the host. Their host can be algae, coral, or sea grasses. The camouflaged body makes it difficult to find a pygmy seahorse. They are one of the best hiding experts in the ocean.
  • Pygmy seahorse does not have a stomach. They eat things to survive. Their life cycle is comprised of staying relaxed and rotating between eating and sleeping. Things get quite stressful during the pairing season.
  • The pygmy seahorse babies are smart and brave. Though they are the smallest creatures in the ocean, they don’t need the help of their parents. Tiny pygmy seahorses can take care of themselves.


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