Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Gasterosteiformes

Family: Syngnathidae

Genus: Hippocampus

Species: H. guttulatus

Physical Description

It has a small but distinct coronet, with 5 rounded knobs or blunt points. The horizontal plate in front of coronet as high as coronet itself, with a more or less prominent spine at its front edge, coronet not joined smoothly to neck. The spines are medium to well-developed with blunt tips. It has a prominent rounded eye spines, often with a mane of thick skin fronds on neck and head. The color pattern is varies from dark green to brown with prominent white spots on body (often with a dark ring around them) which tend to coalesce into horizontal wavy lines, may be variously mottled or with pale ‘saddles’ across dorsolateral surface.


Adult seahorse are appear to maintain very restricted home ranges over multiple years making limited daily movements. May move to deeper waters during winter. Like other seahorse species, adult dispersals over large distances is probably caused by strong wave action and currents during storms or when it anchors itself to floating debris. Is thought to live for 4-7 years. Because of its early age at maturity, rapid growth rate, short generation time and multiple breeding cycles during each spawning season, resilience is thought to be high. However, in tropical areas where seagrass beds are regularly exploited for other species of seahorses for the aquarium trade, traditional medicine, etc., populations have been quickly eradicated. Can be maintained in an aquarium environment if trained to feed on dead animals. These are oviviparous. During the mating season, mature males and females have been observed to change hue, i.e., become brighter, when courting Female deposits her eggs on the brood pouch of the male which is found under the tail. Gestation usually lasts 21 days. and brood sizes up to 581 have been reported. Young are expelled from the pouch measuring 1.5 cm after 3 weeks of incubation. Size at birth ranges from 0.6-1.4 cm length. Newly hatched young are planktonic for at least 8 weeks.

Habitat and Distribution

Occurs mostly in shallow inshore waters including littoral lagoons, among algae and eel grass (Zostera or Posidonia), or among rocks and in gravel bottoms. Found in waters of Eastern Atlantic British Isles and the Netherlands to Morocco, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores, including the Mediterranean