Hippocampus zosterae Jordan & Gilbert, 1882
Dwarf seahorse
Hippocampus zosterae
photo by Lourie, S.A.

Family:  Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses), subfamily: Hippocampinae
Max. size:  5 cm TL (male/unsexed); max. reported age: 1 years
Environment:  demersal; depth range 0 - 5 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Bermuda, southern Florida (USA), Bahamas and the entire Gulf of Mexico. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-12. Description: (based on 31 specimens): Adult height: 2-2.5cm. Rings: 9-10+31-32. Snout length: 4.2-4.3 in head length. Dorsal fin rays: 12 covering 2+0 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 11-12. Coronet: high, columnar or knob-like, without spines or projections. Spines: low or knob-like. Other distinctive characters: short snout <1/3 head length; skin often covered in tiny warts. Color pattern: beige, yellow, green, black; mottling variable (distinct to absent); may have white markings like splashes of paint; some specimens with dark spots.
Biology:  Shallow grass flats, especially in association with Zostera and other seagrass; periodically found in floating vegetation. Diurnal, males more site faithful than females. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Specimens lose their skin filaments in aquaria (Ref. 30915). Has been reared in captivity (Ref. 35420).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 03 October 2016 Ref. (119314)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.02.05
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 10.09.99

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