Common Seahorse, Hippocampus taeniopterus Click to enlarge image
Preserved Common Seahorse from the Australian Museum Fish Collection (AMS I.38392-001). This fish was caught off Coconut Beach, Lizard Island, Queensland, January 1996. Image: Kerryn Parkinson
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    taeniopterus
    Genus
    Hippocampus
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Common Seahorses grow to 22 cm in height.

Introduction

As adults Common Seahorses are usually seen in pairs and can be found in a range of habitats including seagrass beds and mangroves.



Identification

Female Common Seahorses are usually yellow with a few large dark spots. Males are grey to brown with striations on the head and fine dark spots on the trunk.

The Common Seahorse is listed in many references as H. kuda.

Habitat

It is found in seagrass beds.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

In Australia it is known from near Darwin, Northern Territory and northern to southern Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Other behaviours and adaptations

This species usually occurs in pairs.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2001. Revision of the Australian Seahorses of the Genus Hippocampus(Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with Descriptions of Nine New Species. Records of the Australian Museum. 53: 293-340.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.