Seahorse

© Johan Boshoff

Name

Seahorse (Hippocampinae)

Size

Seahorses measure 8 cm on average but can be up to 18 cm in length.

Seahorses Identification

The body of a seahorse is highly compressed, covered in hard, bony plates. Its dorsal fin is located low on its back and is propelled for movement. They have long snouts and long tails which are used for grip, and their ventral edge is sharp. Pygmy seahorses grow only up to 5 cm. They differ in colour from black to bright yellow and can be spotted in pink or green.

Seahorses General Info

Seahorses belong to the Hippocampinae family which includes the pipefish. Seahorses change in colour allowing them to camouflaged well, the change in colour also occurs when they are disturbed or alarmed in unusual circumstances. They can be found on the edges of reefs, or near seagrass or on sea fans. The male has a special pouch on its stomach for carrying fertilised eggs, and some species carry the eggs on their tails.

Seahorses Feeding

Seahorses feed on small planktonic crustaceans and fish larvae.

Distribution

They can be found in all tropical and sub-tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Spotted seahorse
Hippocampus kuda
Thorny seahorse
Hippocampus histrix
Tigertail seahorse
Hippocampus comes