Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Syngnathiformes
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathidae
(Pipefishes and seahorses) > Hippocampinae
Etymology: Hippocampus: Greek, ippos = horse + Greek,kampe = curvature (Ref. 45335). More on author: Bleeker.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 68 m (Ref. 37816), usually 0 - 8 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical; 39°N - 28°S, 32°E - 154°W (Ref. 57009)
Indo-Pacific: Pakistan and India to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Society Islands (Ref. 30915). This name is used for maybe 10 distinct species in the Indo-Pacific (Ref. 12238, 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 14.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602)
Inhabit seagrass and marine algae areas of estuaries and seaward reefs; also on steep mud slopes. Found in open water and attached to drifting Sargassum up to 20 km from shore. Adults in pairs (Ref. 48635). Benthic to pelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds on zooplankton (Ref. 85309). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The males carry the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Not shown to be monogamous in the laboratory (Ref. 30915). Very popular aquarium fish. Highly valued species in traditional Chinese medicine (Ref. 30915). Has been reared in captivity (Ref. 35416).
There are 20 - 1000 larvae in incubating sacks; time of development is 20-28 days. The males carry the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (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. 120744)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.3 - 29, mean 27.8 (based on 1008 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00447 (0.00173 - 0.01152), b=3.00 (2.78 - 3.22), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Generation time: 1.1 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=0.6; Fec=20-1000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (15 of 100) .