Wakatobi Dive Resort - Click for Home
Wakatobi Marinelife News

New pygmy pipehorse seen for 1st time at Wakatobi!

A small little pygmy pipehorse, was seen for the first time back in September by one of our dive guides on the house reef. Since that initial sighting Deni and Yan each spotted two different individuals at Teluk Maya. The "critters" appear to be the same species that was first discovered in Lembeh Strait and was written about in the February issue of Asian Diver Magazine. Besides the discover in Lembeh and now Wakatobi, the little pipehorse has not be seen anywhere else in the world.

Pygmy Pipedragon   Pygmy Pipedragon

The little pygmy pipehorses are about 3cm long and have been seen in Halimeda algae. They are agile swimmers and hold their small body similar to the larger sea dragons seen in Australian Waters. They have long brown hair-like growth on the head, above the abdomen and near the ring of the tail. There are also bristle and feather-like appendages deocrating the head. Eggs are carried under the tail. Small fins are found near the tail.

Underwater photographer and writer Rudie Kuiter has noted that because the fins are found on the tail instead of the back, the pygmy pipehorse may be more closely related to the rare bony pipefish than a seahorse. Now the pygmy pipehorse has been confirmed a newly discovered species, and represents a new Genus in the Syngnathidae family Kyonemichthys rumengani.

About Richard Smith

Richard is studying for a PhD on the ecology and social behaviours of Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise). He is based at university in Brisbane, Australia but has come to Wakatobi for his fieldwork due to the extraordinarily high abundance and species diversity of pygmy seahorses on the reefs around the resort; at least 4 species can be found locally. This abundance and diversity can scarcely be found at any other reefs in the world and has enabled him to spend a great deal of time with the animals in their natural environment recording some amazing and never before seen behaviours. During his stay Richard has been giving a series of evening talks about his work and other aspects of marine biology.

Richard Smith