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Spiny seahorse

Hippocampus histrix

(Image credit: David Harasti)

This seahorse is encountered less regularly than most other species and can be easy to misidentify. As with all seahorse species the body shape is the first indicator that you are viewing a seahorse - elongate with a distinct head and snout, a tail that is almost always curled, bony plates equally spaced and easily visible under the skin and a belly that is usually thicker than the neck and tail sections.

The thorny seahorse can be identified by the spine-like projections originating from the edges of the bony plates from the head all the way through to the tail. The snout is longer than many other seahorse species and is banded or spotted in white in most individuals. Colour is variable and can include yellow, green, pink, red, brown and many shades in between. The body is not unicolour and commonly has white blotching throughout. The colour generally matches the surrounding substrate and structure (seagrass, rocks or coral) to assist in the camouflage of the species.

Length: Up to 17 cm


Shallow, low energy reefs in seagrass or algal clumps; 10-95 m depth

Log it

Log if found anywhere in New South Wales

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.

Find further information and images at FISHES OF AUSTRALIA http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/

Number of sightings 2

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