• Location: Romblon Island

  • Depth: medium depth

  • Cover Photo: Wolfgang Holz

  • Scientific Name: Acentronura breviperula, Fraser-Brunner & Whitley, 1949

This species of fish is neither a Pygmy Seahorse nor a pipefish; it is known as the Shortpouch Pygmy Pipehorse (Acentronura breviperula). They look like a crossbreed between a seahorse (the face and a tail to hold on tight) and a pipefish (elongated body). These critters are small, secretive and very well camouflaged. They have protective bony or osseous armor plates covering their body surface. The Pygmy Pipehorse tends to swim sluggishly with the body held horizontally. Their tail is curled and used for anchorage around pieces of algae or sea grass, swaying their body to mimic the sea grasses/algae. However the front part of the body looks like a typical pipefish. While the female Acentronura breviperula is slimmer and looks like a pipefish, Males have larger bellies, giving them a more seahorse-like appearance. When fully grown they vary from 5 to 8 cm in length and are usually seen on the sandy bottom within coral reefs and sea grass areas.