Hippocampus ingens

Hippocampus ingens

First ever published Underwater photos of Hippocampus ingens, the Pacific seahorse


This was the second Hippocampus ingens that I found in San Diego. The Pacific seahorses are shy and are hard to photograph. I was careful not to harass it, or try to move it with my hand. They tend to face away from you and place their head near the sand.


Although specimens in California date back to 1857, it's estimated that Hippocampus ingens has been permanently living in California for about 25 years.


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hippocampus ingens

Hippocampus ingens, the mighty Pacific Seahorse. This was the other individual that I had found.


hippocampus ingens in eelgrass

Hippocampus ingens, this is the pregnant seahorse, with the nice anemone crown


pacific seahorse in san diego

Pacific seahorse trying to flee the scene. Taken with my Nikon D300, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens behind a 6-inch dome port in low visibility water. 


eric hanauer's seahorse

Pacific seahorse, photo by Eric Hanauer. This was probably taken about 10 years, in San Diego. Eric was put in touch with the seahorses by one of the researchers whom I had also touched base with last year. I've also recently spoke with someone who photographed a seahorse in the same area 15 years ago, check back on this page and  I'll try to have the photo up.


What Scientists are saying about the Pacific Seahorse


Dr. Kimo Morris, Marine biology professor. 

"The three-dimensional structure provided by eelgrass and algae acts as a biological facilitator for many organisms, including the seahorse. This is also why artificial reefs work. Fish enjoy the protection of a 3-D environment. The presence of the seahorse can be viewed as an anecdotal indicator of the recovery of eelgrass habitat. The fact that we are finding them there is a great sign, especially given the fact that they are hard to find.”


Kiersten Darrow, research curator at the Cabrillo Aquarium

“Every morning the seahorses will greet each other by wrapping their tails around each other. In addition, their entire body can flash various colors to indicate their mood”.



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Read more about the story in California Diving News!


pacific seahorse news


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