How an Underwater Photo Led to Discovery of Tiny Seahorse Species

When Dr Louw Claassens and Dr Dave Harasti arrived in Sodwana, South Africa in early 2018, they were looking for an entirely different animal: a seahorse-like species called a pygmy pipehorse. But then a local dive guide named Savannah Olivier showed them a photograph of a very small seahorse. The scientists recognised it as a pygmy seahorse, which are supposed to live an entire ocean away. South Africa is home to four other seahorse species, but this was the first time a pygmy seahorse had been observed in South Africa, let alone Africa, write David Harasti, Graham Short|, Louw Claassens and Maarten De Brauwer for The Conversation.

Hippocampus nalu, preserved specimens A SAMC-F041933, holotype female, 18.9 mm SL, and B SAMC-F041934, paratype, male, 22 mm SL; South Africa: Sodwana Bay, 2 Mile Reef.

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