Short-Snouted Seahorse – Profile | Traits | Diet | Breeding | Facts

Short-snouted seahorse

The short-snouted seahorse, scientific name Hippocampus hippocampus is a species of seahorse within the family Syngnathidae. It was endemic to the Mediterranean Sea and components of the North Atlantic, notably around Italy and the Canary Islands. In 2007, colonies of the species had been found within the River Thames around London and Southend-on-Sea.

Their most well-liked habitat is shallow muddy waters, estuaries, or seagrass beds.

Habitat and distribution

Short-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus is usually discovered on the bottoms of rocks, in seaweed, or within the fringe of seagrass beds in shallow muddy water.

They can solely be present in waters that might be as much as 77 meters (253 ft) deep. They have a really restricted house range as a result of they’ve very restricted day by day actions.

Most of their motion happens when storms happen and the seahorses are moved with the present or they’re carried away due to their grasp on particles that are floating within the water.

In the winters they usually transfer into the deeper water to flee tough seas. They will use their tails to anchor themselves to the stems of vegetation and are capable of camouflage very nicely.

The short-snouted seahorse is discovered within the northeastern Atlantic, from northwestern Scotland and the Netherlands south to Senegal and into the Mediterranean Sea in addition to within the coastal waters of the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

In Britain and Ireland, the distribution is influenced by the hotter waters of the Gulf Stream which create the situations for higher productiveness of plankton and which means each this species and the long-snouted seahorse is discovered primarily on southern and western coasts however because the Gulf Stream flows into the North Sea to the north and south of the Great Britain small populations of each species do exist within the North Sea.

Short-snouted seahorse Description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal tender rays (total): 16-19. Description (primarily based on 35 specimens): Adult height: 7.0-13.0cm. Rings: 11 + 37 (35-38). Snout size: 3.0 (2.8-3.4) in head size.

Dorsal fin rays: 17 (16-19) protecting 2+1 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 14 (13-15). Coronet: slim, ridge-like, and joined easily to the nape of the neck, or wedge-shaped (front slim, back high, and broad); some specimens with a really massive angular coronet (particularly specimens from West Africa). Spines: low, very low in adults.

Other distinctive characters: very quick snout (normally lower than 1/3 head size) that’s barely upward-bent; distinguished eye backbone. Color pattern: mottled brown to yellow, to maroon and rust; additionally orange, purple, or black; typically with tiny white dots, however, these don’t coalesce into thick horizontal wavy traces as in H. guttulatus.

Hippocampus hippocampus has the potential to be as much as 15 centimeters (5.9 in) long. They have a distinguished backbone above every eye. They have snouts that are quick and upturned.

Their snouts are about 1/3 of the size of their head. Their dorsal fin has 16-18 rays with a darkish stripe that runs parallel to the margin and supplies propulsion.

Their pectoral fins have 13-15 rays and are situated beneath the gill openings. Their pectoral fins are largely utilized for stability and steering. Their angular look comes from the bony tubercles which might be within the body rings.

Our bodies might be black, purple, orange, or brown. They have a tail that’s unable to bend backward however is taken into account semi-flexible.

They use it as an anchor by wrapping it around coral or seagrass. The tail can also be used to pay money for a partner throughout greeting and mating companies.

Short-Snouted Seahorse

Short-snouted seahorse Feeding

On average the adult seahorse will eat roughly between 30-50 tiny shrimp a day. Short-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus is understood to be ambush predators that feed on live, transferring meals.

They will stay nonetheless till a small animal passes inside attain after which seize it. They wouldn’t have teeth or a stomach in order that they use their snout to suck their meals straight into their intestine. Since they lack a stomach the prey will cross via the digestive system very fast.

Inhabits dense, complex habitats in addition to patchy, comparatively open, and sparse habitats of coastal areas. Found on tender bottoms amongst rocks and algae, on sparsely vegetated areas, and in coastal lagoons with robust oceanic influences.

Mimics the green or yellow coloration of vegetation permitting them to cover among the many vegetation. This capability doubtless performs a job in seahorse feeding strategy and in predator avoidance.

Makes restricted day-by-day actions inside very restricted house ranges (0.7-18.1 m2). May over-winter in deeper water. Adult dispersal over massive distances might be brought on by robust wave action throughout storms or when it anchors itself to floating particles.

Is thought to live for 3-5 years. Because of its quick technology time and a number of breeding cycles throughout every spawning season, resilience is regarded as high.

However, in tropical areas the place seagrass beds are frequently exploited for different species of seahorses for aquarium commerce, conventional medication, and so on., populations have been rapidly eradicated. Feeds on small prey and natural particles. Has been reared in captivity.


Ovoviviparous, with the feminine depositing eggs into the male brood pouch. During the mating season, mature women and men have been noticed to alter hue, i.e., change into brighter, when greeting, courting, or mating. Newly hatched younger are thought to have a planktonic stage that lasts not less than eight weeks.

Short-snouted seahorse Reproduction

Short snouted seahorses are thought-about ovoviviparous which means that the feminine deposits eggs right into a pouch on the male’s abdomen, known as a brood pouch, and the male goes via being pregnant and labor. Sexual maturation happens in the course of the first reproductive season after birth.

The size of the reproductive season can range primarily based on temperature, light, and water turbulence. Sexual maturity in males is acknowledged by a brood pouch.

Males have two frequent but very aggressive courtship behaviors. The first is snapping, a male will purpose and flick his snout at his opposing male to be able to propel him away.

If the male is profitable the opposing seahorse will darken and flatten right into a submissive place signaling that he has given up. The second behavior is wrestling.

Short-Snouted Seahorse

This happens when one male refuses to launch the opposing male from his maintain. Both males will fall with their interlocked tails however the submissive male will darken and flatten in a submissive place till it’s launched.

Male and feminine pairs of short-snouted seahorses are very devoted to one another. This is showcased by their reproductive states and their greetings to 1 one another.

Male and females who’re in devoted pairs may have synchronized reproductive state modifications to substantiate that they’re devoted to one another.

They additionally greet each other day by day which lasts from six to eight minutes. When the male is prepared for reproduction he’ll pump water out and in of his pouch.

Females level their heads in the direction of the water floor to indicate that they’re prepared for reproduction. The feminine will line up the bottom of her trunk to the opening pouch of the male and insert her ovipositor into the male’s pouch.

The eggs are then deposited and fertilized within the brood pouch. The switch of eggs from females to males solely takes about 6-10 seconds. The male’s pouch will shut up after the eggs are fertilized.

The pear-shaped eggs are implanted into the wall of the pouch and surrounded by tissues. Oxygen is ready to get via to the eggs via the capillaries. There is placental fluid present which supplies the eggs with vitamins and oxygen and removes waste products.

The egg yolk which comes from the mom can also be stuffed with necessary vitamins. The male secretes the enzyme prolactin which initiates the breakdown of the outer layer of the egg to ensure that the placental fluid to be produced.

Pregnancy solely lasts 20-21 days and the male will normally go into labor within the nighttime. The variety of younger produced can range from 50-100 and tremendously is dependent upon the age of the male.

The older males will produce a bigger variety of offspring. If the male is in a pair that he’s acquainted with he’ll have the ability to mate once more inside just a few hours of giving birth without having any destructive health impacts.


They are devoted to their companions – though not essential for all times.
They use their tails to anchor themselves to vegetation.
Using its quick snout, it sucks up plankton reminiscent of copepods and different small crustaceans and is extremely stealthy in its ambush.
It’s the males that carry the eggs and younger of their bellies and birth contractions can last as long as 12 hours!


More information is required to grasp how threatened seahorses are in UK waters. Seahorses are sometimes caught as bycatch in fishing nets, whereas some seagrass habitat is below risk from growth and anchoring harm.

Two of the 27 recently-designated Marine Conservation Zones in English seas had been set as much as shield short-snouted seahorses and their habitats.

Globally, seahorses are utilized in conventional Asian medication, in a trade that takes tens of millions of animals every year. They are additionally bought dried as curios and brought live for the aquarium commerce.

Aquarium assortment used to happen in Weymouth Bay and the Channel Islands however seahorses at the moment are protected below the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Seahorses are usually not quick swimmers – their small, delicate fins propel them, but they use their prehensile tails to assist them to move via their complex habitats.

Despite its unconventional look, the short-snouted sea horse is a sort of fish and is said to pipefish and sea dragons. Its snout is simply a 3rd of its head size and has two distinguished ‘horns’ above its eyes.

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