The Pygmy Seahorse – Hippocampus Bargibanti and Its Most Distinctive Characteristics
The pygmy seahorse – Hippocampus Bargibanti – is a small variety of seahorse living mainly on gorgonian reef formations. They are morphologically different from most species of larger seahorses, featuring a single gill opening on the back, organs that facilitate trunk brooding for the males, and a smaller than average size (for a seahorse) ranging between 1.2 and 2.7 cm in length. There are only a limited number of pygmy seahorse species, and while other species of small seahorses may also be named pygmies, they lack the distinctive dorsal single gill opening and trunk brooding capabilities that genuine pygmies have.
Where Can Pygmy Seahorses Be Found?
In the case of most species, the Indo-Pacific Ocean is the main home of the pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus Bargibanti populations having been spotted mainly in the Coral Triangle region of Eastern Asia. Japan, Indonesia, Northern Australia and New Caledonia are the areas with the most concentration of pygmy seahorse populations. Conservation efforts have been attempted in order to find out more about the actual numbers of pygmy seahorse populations, as well as the threats that may prevent their future survival. Very little is known about these statistics thus far.
The Diet and Habitat Preferences of Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus Bargibanti)
The diet of the pygmy seahorse consists mainly of small crustaceans that the seahorse can easily hunt and ingest. Some pygmy seahorses are more adaptive than others when it comes to searching for other food sources, however, seeing as there are only 7 species of pygmies in existence and that they can only live on gorgonian coral reefs, they are arguably less resilient than most seahorse species.
Hippocampus Bargibanti and Their Mating Practices
Seahorses are usually found in pairs, and they can be monogamous. Up to 28 pygmy seahorses can be found on a single gorgonian. As in the case of other seahorse species, the male plays an active role in the reproduction cycle, being responsible for carrying the young. The female lays her eggs inside the male’s trunk region, then the male fertilizes and incubates them until they are ready to hatch. The gestation period takes about a week, and there can be up to 30-35 or more young pygmy seahorses expelled when they are ready. Once the eggs hatch, no further care is required by any young pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus Bargibanti individuals arriving into the world as miniature versions of their parents and being ready to fend for themselves as soon as they need to.