Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Syngnathiformes
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathidae
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathinae
Etymology: Hippocampus: Greek, ippos = horse + Greek,kampe = curvature (Ref. 45335). More on author: Kaup.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 1 - 82 m (Ref. 37816), usually 15 - 40 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical; 35°N - 35°S, 22°E - 132°W
Indo-Pacific: Tanzania and South Africa to Hawaii and Tahiti, north to Japan, south to New Caledonia. Reported from the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819). This name is used for at least four distinct species (Ref. 30915). 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 7.9  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 17.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11441)
A rare inhabitant of shallow sheltered reefs, found among clumps of algae or in seagrass beds. Large adult pelagic and probably associated with drifting debris. Associated with sponges and sea-squirts (Ref. 30915, 58302). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). Feeds on zooplanktons and small crustaceans (Ref. 89972). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Use in traditional Chinese medicine is increasing with the rise in patent medicines (Ref. 30915). Not common in the aquarium trade (Ref. 30915).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Monogamous mating is observed as both obligate and genetic (Ref. 52884). Male carries the eggs in a brood pouch (Ref. 205).
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. 123251)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.4 - 29, mean 28.1 °C (based on 1240 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00447 (0.00176 - 0.01137), b=2.99 (2.77 - 3.21), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.53 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (13 of 100) .