Fascinating Facts About Scuba Diving With Seahorses

Scuba divers have long been fascinated by these often extremely tiny critters. Seahorses are illusive photo subjects as they camouflage themselves by changing colour quickly to blend in with their surroundings. They also allow encrusting organisms to settle on them and they can grow long skin appendages to match their surroundings even better. During mating their skin will lighten and darken. Generally the easiest part of the seahorse to spot is the tail. Click the link for Buy dry seahorse

The seahorse is 1 of 4 families in the syngnathiform family order which also includes pipefish, flag tail pipefish and seadragons. They swim in an upright position with their tails down and their heads up. Their dorsal fin moves them forward and the pectoral fin controls steering and turning.

The pygmy seahorse is a recently discovered relative of the common sea horse and one of the divers most sought after finds. A lot of deco time and a magnifying glass will help in the search for these cryptic critters. They are roughly 15mm in length although some are smaller, and as their tail is always curled around a seafan, they appear even smaller.

Very little is known about their life cycle. They are thought to eat the same zooplankton as the seafans that they inhabit and they seem to prefer seafans to other family members, as there are normally few other inhabitants on a pygmy’s seafan.

Sea horse Fact Sheet

Family name: Hippocampinae
Order name: Syngnathidae
Common name: Seahorse
Scientific name: Hippocampus

Distinguishing Features

They are characterised by an elongated body encased in bony rings. Instead of scales that are found on most fish, seahorses have a thin layer of skin stretched over a series of bony plates. These plates show themselves as the bony rings along their body’s trunk. They have no pelvic fins but most have small pectoral fins and a single dorsal fin. They have a prehensile tail (able to grasp) and a tube-like mouth with no teeth, and small gill openings. Unlike (most) humans but similar to chameleons, seahorses can move their eyes independently of each other. They range in size from 10mm to 35cm, the largest species being the Pacific seahorse. Seahorses also have a coronet on the top of their head which is distinctive in all seahorses, in the same way that a thumb print is in humans.