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 recently returned from an exceedingly fruitful trip to Japan, where I attended the 9th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference in Okinawa and dived both Izu Peninsula and Hachijo-jima.
My trip to Fiji from 5-15th October this year is fast approaching, with only four spots remaining for those that are interested in joining us. We will be spending ten nights at the secluded Matava Dive Resort on the island of Kadavu, in the country's south west. Surrounded by dense forest, with organic gardens, a spa and views of the aquamarine Pacific Ocean, this is the prefect setting to relax and enjoy some great diving.
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.
Sport Diver UK have just published the July issue of their monthly magazine, which contains my article 'Cenderawasih Bay; Where Whale Sharks Roam'. This feature is about the month I spent aboard Dewi Nusantara in the mysterious and newly visited part of Indonesia on Papua's north coast.
As part of my PhD research I visited a small resort in central Sulawesi. It is scarcely known to non-Italians, but an absolute gem. I was in search of the amazing Walea soft coral pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus waleananus), which is known only from the reefs of the Togian Islands.
The diving is outstanding, with some of the best hard coral I have seen and many interesting critters, including bumblebee shrimp, boxer crab, tiger shrimp, four species of pygmy seahorse and the rare Kyonemichthys rumengani found in abundance.
UltraMarine have just published their 40th issue, where I am please to have an article about the reefs of the Coral Triangle. The countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and East Timor collectively make up the Coral Triangle, which is known as the centre of the world's coral reef biodiversity. It is a fascinating area to dive and I hope this article impassions people to experience it for themselves and the will to protect it.
I was fortunate enough to return to Wakatobi Dive Resort last year for the first time since carrying out much of my PhD fieldwork there a couple of years before. This time, however, I went on a trip aboard their liveaboard, Pelagian. We sailed from the resort all the way to the island of Buton, just off the Sulawesi mainland. My adventures were published in Scuba Diver AustralAsia in issue one of 2013. They have recently updated their digital subscriptions too, so check out their website or the Apple Newstand for
Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia is one of my favourite places in the world to dive. Actually, if I could only dive in one place for the rest of my life I think it would be Raja Ampat. I have been lucky enough to spend many months exploring this amazing area aboard Dewi Nusantara. In issue 38 of UltraMarine Magazine I explain why this area is so special and what is being done to protect it.
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: