2. How do you find a Pygmy Seahorse?

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How do you find a Pygmy Seahorse?

The Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is one of the most difficult critters to find. They are smaller than a little fingernail, live on sea fans, and from their earliest stages of life, encourage the growth of the sea fans on their skin, creating near perfect camouflage.

Can you see the Pygmy in this picture?

If not, you are not alone. You will not be the last diver to nod and give the OK sign to a dive guide, not revealing to them that you haven’t a clue what they are pointing at.

So how do you find them?

You need to start with an experienced guide who knows where to look, a lot of luck, and even more patience. About the only part of the seahorse that doesn’t camouflage perfectly is the tail…..so look for the spiral of tiny tail anchoring the Pygmy to their perch.

If you still can’t spot them, then don’t worry. Perhaps take a magnifying glass next time, as they are about the width of a finger nail when fully grown!

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Photographers note: Always be wary of spending too much time too close (your dive buddies will want to see them as well!), and be especially careful not to direct big powerful strobes and lights directly at them from close quarters, they really don’t appreciate it.  They are notoriously camera-shy, seemingly able to detect an approaching lens and turn the other way just as the shutter clicks.  We all know someone like that.

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