Pygmy Seahorse – The Pontohi Variety

The Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse, Hippocampus pontohi, is a dwarf seahorse and one of the smallest of all seahorses. It is a native of central Indo-Pacific oceans in eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

This weedy pygmy seahorse is so named after a dive guide, Hence Pontoh, who discovered it. The seahorse is rare as it is cryptic and small in size . Adults grow up to 1.0 cm to 1.7 cm.(3/8 inch to 6/8 inch ).

They come in two main colour combinations:  white with yellow and red lines or brown and black with red markings.

They are found mainly on reef walls and rocks that are exposed to current with abundant Halemeda algae and hydroids at depth from 11 m to 25 m. So when diving in Bunaken and Lembeh  you will be able to find them on wall dives as these are their habitats.However,  you may need to be patient and have a pair of keen eyes to spot them as well. Your dive guides will also be able to assist you as they are often quite familiar with the areas where these marine critters are located.


Danger of being too engrossed.

When I was photographing the Pontohi Seahorse during a wall dive, I was so engrossed in the photography that I forgot to check my dive gauge. Yes, in the swaying current, constant movement of this tiny seahorse and the narrow  DOF,  you are working with when taking  these images, you can forget very easily!  So beware of the danger of being over engaged with this little weedy seahorse when you are diving!



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