Sea Horses are without doubt, one of the most fantastic little animals that live on our planet. They are also one of the only known species where the male of the species gets pregnant, looks after the young and then generally assumes the role of a doting mother. This is also the reason why there is an illegal trade in living & dead Sea Horse, primarily for the traditional Chinese medicine market. According to local ‘idiocy’, crushing up a Sea Horse and putting it in your tea and drinking it, will restore erectile function. If you believe this, you are a blithering fool, that is me putting it nicely.
Sea Horse deserve to be protected as much as Whales or Manta, because they make for huge attractions when they visit the reef and you can show them to photographers & divers, they are worth hundreds of times more live then they are in some flaccid idiot’s morning tea. The other thing not many people know about these little guys is that they only visit the reef’s to mate, they actually live most of their lives out on the sand or pelagic depths, returning to their place of birth to get jiggy, sometimes occupying the same spot or sea fan for many many years, waiting for the right partner to turn up!
This guy I found on a dive site called Anemone Reef in Phuket, Thailand, we have three or more that have been living in the one area for more than a year, so they make for an amazing, almost guaranteed attraction when visiting this site. On the day of this photo I had a wonderful student who would let me get photos for her without kicking up the sand or disappearing, so I used the opportunity to capture this Tiger Tail swimming around his home, it was quite strong current and he was trying to find relative shelter. Oddly enough as awkward as they look, I’d describe their swimming as pretty good, they can definitely move around and out of your lights easily enough, making photos like this quite hard, add green water, add current, add particulate matter on the day in question, in the end I’m pretty happy that I was able to get such a clean shot of the little guy :)