Pygmy Seahorse Research
BIRD'S HEAD NATURAL HISTORY NOTES (Part 4): The Pygmy Seahorses of Raja Ampat
By Dr Richard Smith | Originally written for BirdsHeadSeascape.com Science & Conservation Blog
I will be joining the boutique liveaboard Arenui in February 2016 (5-16th February) for a special pygmy seahorse cruise that will take in the best of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. This is one of my favourite areas to dive and certainly one of the very best places in the world to see pygmy seahorses. I have seen five of the seven described species here; Bargibant's, Denise's, Pontohi's, Satomi's and Severn's. I will be giving marine life talks, which will include my work on pygmies for my PhD research. For more information about this trip, please download the flyer attachment below or
The Japanese pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus sp, (known locally as 日本のピグミータツノオトシゴ or Japapigu) is an, as yet, undescribed species of true pygmy seahorse found, as the name suggests, in Japan. They appear to be closely related to Coleman's, Pontoh's and Severn's species, and like these other species, are not found living in close association with a specific host such as a gorgonian or soft coral.
I have just arrived in Okinawa, Japan for the 9th quadrennial Indo-Pacific Fish Conference. I presented at the last meeting four years ago in Freemantle with my talk 'First field studies of the obligate gorgonian-associated pygmy seahorses, Hippocampus bargibanti and H. denise'. This time round I decided to do a poster presentation for a change, on another aspect of my PhD research.
Recently, I was very pleased to have a feature gallery with Australian Geographic.
This iconic publication published a gallery of my images of pygmy seahorses, including mating, fighting and giving birth, along with an short article I wrote.
You can FOLLOW THIS LINK to the gallery or read the article below:
I'm excited to have the cover image and a feature article in the spring issue of Marine Conservation Society's magazine. MCS is a UK based charity that does great work throughout the British Isles, protecting our amazing marine life.
I am pleased to announce that this issue (Volume 2: Issue 1) I have the cover image and a feature article 'The Sex Life of Seahorses' in 72 & Rising Magazine, which is a magazine focusing on marine and freshwater environments and their conservation.
Check out the article here:
The Sex Life of Seahorses by Richard Smith (© Richard Smith 2012)
I am extremely pleased to announce that my image of mating Denise’s pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus denise) taken at Wakatobi Dive Resort is the ‘Parting Shot’ in the new issue (Winter 2012) of Alert Diver magazine (see attachment below).
My scientific publication on the habitat specialisation and population structure of gorgonian-associated pygmy seahorses has just been published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series (Link to the MEPS page):
Smith RE, Grutter AS & Tibbetts IR (2012). Extreme habitat specialisation and population structure of two gorgonian-associated pygmy seahorses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 444: 195-206