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Hippocampus abdominalis  Lesson, 1827

Big-belly seahorse
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Image of Hippocampus abdominalis (Big-belly seahorse)
Hippocampus abdominalis
Picture by Lourie, S.A.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

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 Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 104 m (Ref. 52034).   Temperate; 24°S - 50°S, 80°E - 120°W (Ref. 52034)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 8.7  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm OT male/unsexed; (Ref. 6787); common length : 18.0 cm OT male/unsexed; (Ref. 9003)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 25-31; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 4.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Southwest Pacific: Australia and New Zealand. Vulnerable (Ref. 30915). Occurrence in Thailand and the Philippines (Ref. 43081) needs verification. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in large rock pools at low tide. They remain motionless amidst seaweed. Juveniles are pelagic (Ref. 30915) or attached to drifting seaweeds (Ref. 31838). Feed on minute crustaceans (e.g. copepods and amphipods). Nocturnal (Ref. 9003). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Seen in groups at night. Also around jetties and other man-made objects; attached to sponges and colonial hydroids in deeper water (Ref. 30915). Length measurements refer to height (= TL - head length). This is the largest seahorse species in southeastern Australia, and has more dorsal fin rays and tail rings than any other seahorse (Ref. 31838). Sold locally and internationally for the aquarium trade (Ref. 31838). Dried and sold to the Oriental medicine trade as a tonic and aphrodisiac (Ref. 5316, 34026).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Several subsequent broods are carried by the male in a brood pouch during the spawning season. Do not obviously pair, as other seahorses do (Ref. 30915). Fertilised eggs deposited by females in the pouch of males are incubated for about four weeks before hatching (Ref. 31838). Hatching occurs at night, coinciding with full moon periods during summer months (Ref. 31838). Young emerge from the pouch and immediately rise to the surface where they grasp floating debris with their tail (Ref. 31838).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00417 (0.00160 - 0.01085), b=3.00 (2.78 - 3.22), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm=1; Assuming annual Fec<1000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (19 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.