Pygmy Seahorses

Exploring the minature world of the pygmy seahorse.


Photo Courtesy of John Sear

Photo Courtesy of John Sear

The title for smallest of the small goes to Satomi’s Pygmy Seahorse. A max size of only 1.4cm, its no surprise this species went so long without being discovered. It is found in scattered locations throughout Indonesia, and are extremely difficult to spot even in known locations.


H. satomiae seems to prefer seafans. It is found at depths of 15 - 20 meters in groups of 3 - 5 individuals.


Sparse Indonesian locals. Found in Derawan, and Lembeh Strait. Also found in northern Borneo, Malaysia.


Extremely small, no larger than 1.4cm. Spines covering entire body. Round trunk in both males and females. Large eyes relative to head size. white to pale brown or greyish base colour; black spot immediately anterior to eye. May have red highlights on or around gills.

Life Cycle

Birth has been observed in the wild. Young are born around down and are 3mm in size, and very dark. Pelagic young settle near the adults. 8 embroyos were found in the pouch of the male used for describing the species.


3 Responses to “Satomi’s Pygmy Seahorse - Hippocampus satomiae”

  1. It’s wonderful! I really want to see them by myself in the wild- must be awesome. Thank you for this information, so helpful.

  2. Julie Blakely says:

    My uncle Larry Smith was a dive master in Indonesia before he passed. I have been told that he discovered one of the pygmy seahorse species. He was known for finding “critters”. He was also inducted into the Divers Hall of Fame. I am a diver myself, and come from a family of divers. Since Uncle Larry’s death I have been trying to find more information about his discoveries. If his name rings a bell can you please point me into the right direction.
    Thanks for you time,
    Julie Blakely

  3. Hi Julie,

    I am friends with the 2 guys who were with Larry when he passed, if you want more details to contact them let me know.

    If you search my name you can find a way to contact me.

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