Fall diving in San Carlos has been nothing short of spectacular this year. One of the most interesting of the sightings this year has been of one of the most secretive denizens – the Pacific seahorse, Hippocampus ingens. This is the only seahorse found in the western Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. It is also one of the world’s largest seahorses reaching a length of 30cm (1 foot!)
Pairs of these beauties have been found at several dive sites throughout the summer. One particular pair of seahorses has inhabited the same spot at San Antonio Point all summer long and scuba divers have witnessed dramatic courtship displays and even frequent pregnancies of the male.
Although the Pacific seahorse is primarily a nocturnal species, scuba divers who patiently observe from a distance can also see and even hear the seahorses “snicking” at the passing clouds of mysid or possum shrimp that form the basis of their diet.