Courting pair of Pontoh's pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus pontohi) in courtship

Pontoh's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus pontohi) was one of three species officially named in 2008.  These three species are free-living, rather than associated with gorgonian corals like Bargibant's and Denise's pygmy seahorses.  They are much smaller in size, reaching just under 1.7 cm in length from the tip of the tail to the snout.  Although Pontoh's pygmy seahorse can be found anywhere on tropical reefs within their range, they are most commonly found living in pairs or small groups in clumps of the calcareous alga, Halimeda.  Morphologically they are almost identical and colour is the easiest way to distinguish between Pontoh's and Severn's species.  Pontoh's is predominantly white with yellow or pink patches, whereas Severn's is brown with red and orange patches.  They are found within the Coral Triangle area that includes Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.  They are often found in shallower areas than the gorgonian-associated species between 3 - 20 m.

Follow this link to more facts about the diet, habitat and diversity of pygmy seahorses.

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