Have you ever seen a majestic seahorse swimming about in the sea or in an aquarium? If you have you are very lucky, but what you might not know are there are 45 species of seahorses swimming around in the world’s seas and oceans and here are just a small selection of ten of the most beautiful, amazing and unusual Seahorses you will ever see…
10 – Big-Belly Seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis)
It’s not just its belly that is big, this is the largest seahorse species in the world and they often grow to 35 cm (14 in) in height. Found off the coast of southeast Australia and New Zealand where it breeds in quite vast numbers.
9 – Pygmy Seahorse (Syngnathidae)
We go from the biggest seahorse to the smallest and this tiny little thing is only 2 centimetres (0.79 in) in height and that is fully grown. This is part of the Syngnathiformes family of fish that have fused jaws and they suck food into their tubular mouths.
8 – Leafy Seadragon Seahorse (Phycodurus eques)
While these seadragons are one of the more unusual looking seahorses, they are also one of the most common. In South Australia where they are most common, the locals call them “leafies”.
7 – The Giant Seahorse (Hippocampus ingens)
You would be forgiven for being a little confused as we have already been introduced to the largest seahorse species in the world Big-Belly Seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis). once thought to the biggest species it does indeed grow to 12 to 19 centimetres (4.7 to 7.5 in) in height, but that isn’t anywhere near the biggest. But it might win an award for the brightest colour.
6 – The Knysna Seahorse (Hippocampus capensis)
Believe it or not, most seahorse species are not considered under much threat, but there is one and it is considered the rarest seahorse in the world. They are found only in the Knysna Lagoon which also means their limited range puts them at even great risk of extinction.
5 – Tiger Tail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes)
This one gets a mention due to its tail which has stripes from the belly to the tip of the tail. They are found in many subtidal aquatic beds and coral reefs and while their natural habitats are dissapearing they are not thought to be in any danger of disappearing soon.
4 – Japanese Seahorse (Hippocampus mohnikei)
Also called the lemur-tail seahorse it is oddly noticeable by its ridgelike coronet and flattened spines. While mostly black in colour they do come in a range of colours depending on location.
3 – Zebra Seahorse (Hippocampus zebra)
If there are stripped horses on earth that we call zebras, you can expect the same for the seahorse family and here it is in all its stripped glory. It is often found inshore in and around coral reefs and it can also be found in areas with sand and mud bottoms.
2 – Paradoxical Seahorse (Hippocampus paradoxus)
There is only one known specimen of this seahorse ever captured and it remained unnoticed in a museum for over 10 years. Unlike other species of seahorse, it is considered seemingly absurd or self-contradictory hence its name.
1 – Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)
This is one of the most common seahorses houses in aquariums due to their colourful and distinctive markings. One thing worthy of note is that the lined seahorse’s eyes can move independently of one another, allowing it to effectively scan its surroundings.