Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Syngnathiformes
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathidae
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Hippocampinae
Etymology: Hippocampus: Greek, ippos = horse + Greek,kampe = curvature (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 1 - 73 m (Ref. 30915). Subtropical; 10°C - 27°C (Ref. 36630), preferred ?; 50°N - 5°N, 97°W - 40°W (Ref. 52034)
Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Panama and Venezuela. A southern form that may prove to be a separate species is known from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and questionably from Suriname. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 6.3  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 19.0 cm OT male/unsexed; (Ref. 30915); max. reported age: 1 years (Ref. 1285)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Generally in coastal waters; often around man-made structures (Ref. 26938). Usually attached to gorgonians or seagrasses but may occur in floating Sargassum or swimming freely in midwater (Ref. 9710). Those that live in Sargassum usually have bony protuberances and fleshy tabs that may serve as camouflage. Has been reared in captivity (Ref. 35420, 35422). Move into deeper waters during winter (Ref. 36630). Feeds by sucking in small organisms, using its long face as a pipette (Ref. 26938); like small crustaceans (Ref. 27549). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Length type refers to Height (= from top of coronet to the tip of straightened tail).
Incubates eggs in an external marsupium. Gestation period 20-21 days but varies with water temperature (Ref. 30915).
Lourie, S.A., A.C.J. Vincent and H.J. Hall, 1999. Seahorses: an identification guide to the world's species and their conservation. Project Seahorse, London. 214 p. (Ref. 30915)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00427 (0.00163 - 0.01116), b=3.00 (2.78 - 3.22), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.51 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.34; tmax=1; Fec=1,552).
Prior r = 0.98, 2 SD range = 0.47 - 2.06, log(r) = -0.02, SD log(r) = 0.37, Based on: 1 K, 2 tgen, 1 tmax, 2 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100) .