Sydney’s Pygmy Pipehorse

Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri
Image by Steve Gillespie.

Named in honour of Akos Lumnitzer, who in 1997 brought them to the attention of the relevant authorities in marine life, these miniature ponies were quickly added to the Syngnathidae family (seahorses and pipefish).

The colours range from white to grey, gold, brown and red splotches to uniformly red. The pygmy pipehorse seems to vary from bristling with ornate tassels down to a much smoother tassel free complexion.

So far the largest collected specimen was 55.2mm in total length. This fish is rarely seen due to its small size and cryptic colouration. They are found from the Sydney region down to Jervis Bay, on semi-exposed rocky reefs from 6 to 30 metres in depth and clinging to their favourite red algae.

Sydney’s pygmy pipehorse was only spotted here at Bass Point in the last several years. But we have quickly become a huge fan of these incredibly cute little guys. We at Shellharbour Scuba Centre are proud to say that we have several sections of reef that are frequented by constantly changing occupants, including regular sightings of these beautiful creatures.