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: Girard.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 60 m (Ref. 30915), usually 3 - 18 m (Ref. 5227). Subtropical; 37°N - 22°S, 123°W - 70°W
Eastern Pacific: San Diego in California, USA to Peru including the Galapagos Islands. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies. Reported from the San Francisco Bay by Alexander Agassiz (Ron Fritzsche, pers.comm. 08/09).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 5.4  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Nocturnal. Occur in offshore waters, mostly captured by dredging at 10 m or deeper. Occasionally caught at surface. Are often camouflaged within the branches of gorgonians and black coral trees where they are seen to curl their tail around the branches (Ref. 5227). Have been found in the stomachs of Pacific yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna (Ref. 30915). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205).
Male carries the eggs in a brood pouch (Ref. 205). Gestation period is 14-15 days depending on 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. 120744)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 19.1 - 28.5, mean 24.3 (based on 131 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00437 (0.00171 - 0.01116), 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
): 3.3 ±0.38 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm=0.3-0.4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (24 of 100) .