December's celebrity syngnathid - long-snouted seahorse

December’s celebrity iSeahorse syngnathid is a long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus). It’s one of two species hailing from Europe, its counterpart being the short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus). European seahorses have been known to be preyed upon by juvenile cuttlefish, but a far greater survival threat is habitat degradation and the seahorse trade industry. 

This photogenic fish was spotted by Jef Driesen, who submitted the photo to the 2016 Guylian Seahorses of the World Photography Competition and reported it as a sighting to iSeahorse. He won the 3rd Place Public Prize for a different entry, but we thought this one was worthy of some recognition too! Jef snapped this candid shot near L’Escala, Spain, a stunning coastal municipality renowned for its Anchovy and Salt Museum and traditional Anchovy Festival. 

Like many seahorse species, the long-snouted seahorse is listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List. Citizen scientists like Driesen who report seahorse sightings help us learn more about their range, habitat and population, and this knowledge makes us better equipped to aid their survival. If you’re going diving soon, keep your eyes peeled for seahorses, as iSeahorse is always in need of new contributions. Plus, we’ll be holding Guylian Seahorses of the World again in 2018 – maybe one day your picture will be featured here too! 

Visit the Guylian Seahorses of the World photo gallery to see more amazing photographs.

Originally posted on iSeahorse.org