Hippocampus angustus Günther, 1870
Western spiny seahorse
Hippocampus angustus
photo by Kuiter, R.H.

Family:  Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses), subfamily: Syngnathinae
Max. size:  22 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 63 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Eastern Indian Ocean: northwestern Australia only, from Torres Strait to North West Cape. Records from Queensland need verification; often misidentified with Hippocampus histrix. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-19. Description: (based on 54 specimens): Adult height: 7.8-15.5 cm. Rings: 11 + 33-34 (32-35). Snout length: 2.2 (2.0-2.5) in head length. Dorsal fin rays: 18 (17-19) covering 2+1 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 16-17 (15-19). Coronet: medium height with 5 well developed sharp spines. Spines: well developed (blunt or sharp tips); usually low in neck region. Other distinctive characters: double sharp cheek spines; double spine below eye; prominent, sharp eye spine. Color pattern: body often covered in a net-like pattern of brown markings; snout with fine stripes; spines with a brown band towards their tip.
Biology:  Found in sheltered bays. Color varies from either white, orange or yellow with light patches and sometimes network of fine dark lines; also with narrow lines across snout. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), monogamous (Ref. 36642). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 19 August 2016 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 15.05.95
Modified by: Bailly, Nicolas - 06.06.17
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 17.08.99

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