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Albino Raja or wayward Denise's?

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Found at dusk somewhere in Raja Ampat. I did see some Denise's on other dives in the area. Could this be a wayward Denise's that has befriended a Raja Ampat Pygmy? Or is it an albino Raja Ampat Pygmy?

 

Are these guys able to morph their color to match the gorgonian they attach to? Is there such a thing as an albino pygmy seahorse? Are the Raja Ampat Pygmy's a distinct species or are they the same species as the Denise's just with a red gorgonian habitat? I have seen various shades of what I think are Denise's Pygmy's - some very orange to some that were almost pure white. In every occasion they match the color of their host gorgonian very well.

 

Please, someone enlighten me. I don't have photos from another angle as it was almost dark and I didn't want to hit them too many times with the strobes.

 

post-26564-1330492100.jpg

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Both are H. denise I think. According to Richard Smith who is doing his PhD on pygmy seahorses H. denise is a generalist that lives on at least 8 genera. It comes in a variety of colors - matching the host - & the degrees of papillation varies. Check out his seahorse species pages for lots of photos & facts. He includes photos of the "Raja Ampat" color morph under H. denise.

 

http://oceanrealmimages.com/category/galle...pygmy-seahorses

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