Gorgonian Rider

Gorgonian Rider

Bargibanti pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is a minute critter normally hosted by gorgonians, it was my first sighting while diving in Blue Hole of Romblon. It is hardly seen unless its host is examined closely, using magnifying glass could be better. Our DM was so keen on macro and it was fortunate we found one during the dive. This pygmy seahorse is well camouflaged, being extremely difficult to spot amongst the gorgonian coral it inhabits.

Large bulbous tubercles cover its body and match the colour and shape of the polyps of its host species of gorgonian coral, while its body matches the gorgonian stem. It is not known whether individuals can change color if they change hosts, although the ability to change color according to their surroundings does exist in some other seahorse species. This is also one of the smallest seahorse species in the world, typically measuring less than 2 centimeters (0.79 in) in height.

NB. Photo courtesy of Angel using Lumix TS2 with Ikelite casing.