Since we started diving Kata beach in Phuket for the exquisite macro we have had a short list of critters we 100% believe are also out there in the algae and the muck.
Here is that shortlist in case you were wondering.
- Blue Ringed Octopus
- Pygmy Pipe Horse
- Leafy Scorpion Fish
On Saturday we were able to tick one of our shortlist critters off, super. We kind of knew Kata Beach was a great area for them to be found in, not because anyone ever had provided a photo of one out there, but because the bottom composition just seemed way to perfect not to have them.
The other reason was that we see so many other species of Syngnathiformes in the area. From your common Bent Stick pipefish, to short nose pipefish, to Sea Horses to Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish. So a Pipe Horse just really seemed like the next logical critter to show up, above is the proof.
The little guy, and I must stress that he was very little, was clinging to a bit of muck, hidden in some algae on the right of the photo. I actually had to plant myself very close to him and hope that in the mild current he would swing on his tail into the clear zone.
I’m 110% against touching or moving critters for a good shot, so it was “wait and see”. Thankfully after a little while, he or she decided it was time to swing out of the algae and give me a few chances to capture it on film.
I know it’s kind of a boring shot, but there was nothing around to provide any composition, an algae shot would have been troublesome and I also did not want to do a blackwater background. In the end, all that was left to do was to click furiously and hope I was getting his face in focus as he moved about in the current.
Luckily I got a few good snaps with the facial features all in focus, so enjoy and happy hunting!
- Common Name: Shortpouch Pygmy Pipe Horse
- Scientific Name: Acentronura tentaculata