New Species of Pygmy Seahorse Discovered: Hippocampus japapigu

An international team of marine biologists has discovered a brand new species of the seahorse Hippocampus within the waters off southeast Japan.

Seahorses area unit a gaggle (genus Hippocampus) of little fish happiness to the fish family, that additionally includes teleost and ocean dragons.

These creatures area unit named for the form of their head, that sounds like the pinnacle of a horse.

They are found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the globe.

Unlike most alternative fish, seahorses area unit monogynic and mate always.

Hippocampus japapigu, Hachijo-jima Island, Izu Islands, Japan at 49 feet (15 m) depth. Image credit: Richard Smith.
Pygmy seahorses of the Hippocampus area unit diminutive in size (0.5-1 inch, or 1.36-2.6 cm, long).

The board shut association with octocorals, colonial hydrozoans, bryozoans, seaweed and alga.

They are morphologically distinct from the additional varied and bigger species (0.9-14 inches, or 2.4-35 cm) of seahorses in possessing one instead of paired gill openings and trunk brooding of their young.

Named Hippocampus japapigu, the newly-discovered species measures between zero.55 and 0.62 inches (1.4-1.6 cm) long.

This pygmy seahorse was found by Dr. Graham Short from the American state Academy of Sciences and his colleagues from the teleost spiny-finned fish Specialist cluster, the Kagoshima University depository and also the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute.

“Hippocampus japapigu is delineate supported 3 specimens collected from a mixed soft coral and alga reef at thirty six feet (11 m) depth at Hachijo-jima Island, Izu Islands, Japan,” the researchers aforesaid.

Hippocampus japapigu happens throughout climatic zone southeast Japan and represents the fifth species of pygmy seahorse recorded within the country’s waters, in line with the team.

The species’ description was printed on-line this month within the journal ZooKeys.