Pygmy Seahorse

Subject

Pygmy Seahorse

 

Location

Anilao, Philippines

 

Equipment

Canon camera with dual inon strobes, +12 wet lens

 

Dive

15 meters (about 50 feet at depth) during a day dive

The Pygmy Seahorse is the smallest Seahorse in the world.  It reaches 1 inch (2.54 cm) in length.  This one was a little short of that length.  They have a tendency to look away from the camera and hide in the gorgonians (also known as sea fans).  In order to fill the picture frame with a pygmy you have to be extremely close.  It was not uncommon for me to take 20 photos and not one, was looking at the camera.  To get the shot you want, you sometimes have to spend an entire dive to seek them out.  To make the photography even more difficult, diving with these little seahorses usually takes you down to almost 30 meters (98 feet).   You don’t have much time at that depth to take many photos.  So, when I found this little guy at 50 feet with the help of my guide, I was pleasantly surprised.  I went back to this spot on another dive to just take photos of the Pygmy Seahorses and it paid off.  Patience and coming back multiple times, is best practice, when you trying to get a good shot.  Originally, I thought this image did not come out but after looking back at my trip I was pleasantly surprised.  In one sea fan you can sometimes see multiple seahorses. Sea fans themselves are living beings.   A sea fan is a collection of animals that are called polyps.  The pygmy seahorse mimics the polyp texture almost making it impossible to see.  This is done by the seahorse’s nervous system and chemical structure.  Pygmy Seahorses have been known to change color to camouflage to a new sea fan.   

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