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White's Seahorse

Hippocampus whitei

(Image credit: David Harasti)

White’s Seahorse Hippocampus whitei, is a medium sized seahorse species that is considered endemic to NSW. It’s has a very limited distribution and is known to occur in 8 estuaries from Forster to Lake Illawarra. The species can be found in a variety of habitat types including sponge gardens, soft corals, seagrasses and on artificial structures and is generally found in depths of 3 – 12 m. The species displays life-long monogamy and strong site fidelity with animals generally found residing on the same habitat for several months.

It can be identified by the pointy triangle on the top of its head and the body and tail are rather spiny. It has a shorter tail and a smaller belly than the more common pot-bellied seahorse.

Length: less than 10cm

While this species has a distribution from along the NSW coastline, there is concern that populations of White's seahorse are currently in decline and any sightings would be useful in gaining an understanding about their current distribution and abundance along the NSW coast.

Undergoing substantial decline in part of range, maybe due to climate change.

Habitat

Variety of habitat types including sponge gardens, soft corals, seagrasses and on artificial structures and is generally found in depths of 3 – 12 m.

Log it

Log if found in NSW.

While this species has a distribution from along the NSW coastline, there is concern that populations of White's seahorse are currently in decline and any sightings would be useful in gaining an understanding about their current distribution and abundance along the NSW coast.

Related links/info

Species names on the Redmap site are based on the Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota or CAAB (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/caab/). This is updated regularly and lists the approved common name, family, species name and more.

Redmap species descriptions were based, with permission, on the following resources:

http://australianmuseum.net.au/Whites-Seahorse-Hippocampus-whitei-Bleeker-1855/

http://www.daveharasti.com/articles/speciesspotlight/whiteseahorse.htm

Number of sightings 22

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