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Pygmy Seahorse found in Fiji -->  Fiji Pygmy Seahorse.jpg   Click to enlarge

World's Smallest Seahorse   



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Hippocampus denise

    The smallest of the pygmy seahorses was described in the international journal, Zoological Studies (Vol. 42, No. 2, April 2003). This species, Hippocampus denise, was named  in honor of  Denise Nielsen Tackett and the work she has done on pygmy seahorses. 

    The new species, pictured here, is the world's smallest seahorse with a standard length of only 16.2mms (about 5/8"). In contrast, the common pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus bargibanti, is about 24.4mms (about 1") long.    

    H. denise is generally light orange in color and is relatively smooth-skinned compared to the common pygmy seahorse. It has been found on several species of sea fans (Annella reticulata, Muricella, and ?Echinogorgia) and is much more active during the day than the closely related H. bargibanti. It reaches sexual maturity at the second smallest size of teleost fishes. Only one species, Trimmatom nanus, is smaller at maturity. 

    Denise's Pygmy Seahorse is probably widespread in the western Pacific area. Specimens have been recorded from depths of from 42' to 297' and from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Malaysia, Solomon Islands,  Palau and Pohnpei.

Click Here for additional photos of Hippocampus denise

New pygmy seahorses keep popping up but as yet have not been officially described/named. We'll post some photos of some of them in the near future.



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