Besides Frogfish and Octopus, Seahorses are one of the big attractions in Lembeh Strait. There are the tiny Pygmy Seahorses and the “normal” sized seahorses. The most commonly seen of the bigger ones is – as the name suggests – the Common Seahorse (Hippocampus taeniopterus). These Seahorses grow relatively big and can reach about 20cm in size. They are usually found in relative shallow water from 15m up to 1m depth. They prefer sandy areas which are either blank or have some algae or seagrass growth. The usual colouration is brown to black but some females can be yellow.
The Key to get nice photos of common seahorses is to approach them slowly and carefully. And specially: Don’t try to touch them. Common Seahorses can often be found in very attractive poses that offer great photo opportunities. But if disturbed, they tend to keep turning away or lay flat down on the sand an play dead. So try to avoid scaring the seahorse and respect it – plus take home some great shots at the same time.
Common seahorses are pretty big and therefor shorter Macro lenses are recommended (35-60mm for DX or 60-100mm for FX). As these seahorses live on sandy flats, it makes sense to choose very low angles. This helps you isolating your subject from the background.
In Lembeh you can basicly find common seahorses on most dives that haves shallow sandy flats like for example Aer Bajo, Jahir, TK, Rojos, Madidir or Aer Prang.