Ja­pan pig

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild News - Stu­art Black­man

WHAT IS IT? The col­lo­quial name of this gor­geous new species was coined by divers who thought it looked a lit­tle porcine. But it’s no more a pig than it is a horse. It’s a pygmy sea­horse. And there’s no doubt it’s small – no big­ger than 16mm – which may help ex­plain why it has been missed un­til now.

WHERE IS IT? Hip­pocam­pus japa­pigu is the fifth species of pygmy sea­horse to have been recorded in Ja­panese wa­ters. The blotches of colour pro­vide cam­ou­flage among al­gae-en­crusted rocks in shal­low wa­ter. It seems to live in pairs, be­cause when­ever one in­di­vid­ual was spot­ted, an­other was of­ten found lurk­ing nearby.

The ‘Ja­pan pig’ pygmy sea­horse can be found in coral and al­gae reefs.

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