Walea soft coral pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus waleananus) vary in colour

One of my favourite pygmy seahorses, and one I was lucky enough to see at Walea Resort in the Togian Islands of central Sulawesi, Indonesia is the Walea Soft Coral pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus waleananus).  This is another species that lives in association with a sessile invertebrate, in this case soft corals.  The stems of soft corals are much more variable and potentially larger in diameter than gorgonian stems and as a result the tail of Walea pygmy seahorses are preposterously long compared to other pygmy seahorses!

This pygmy seahorse is unique in being restricted to only a very small geographic area.  It lives only in the Tomini Gulf of central Sulawesi, Indonesia and nowhere else.  As a result the threats faced by this species are magnified compared to the other pygmy seahorses.  As an extreme habitat specialist it's existence relies entirely on the soft corals where it lives.  If these disappear from this small area of ocean so too does the walea pygmy seahorse.

Follow this link to some information I wrote for Walea Resort about their unique pygmy seahorse!

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

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