Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Gasterosteiformes (Pipefishes and seahorses)
Family: Syngnathidae (Pipefishes, Seahorses and Sea Dragons)

Genus/species: Hippocampus reidi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Comments apply to all species of the genus. They are characterised by their elongated snouts, fused jaws, the absence of pelvic fins, and by thick plates of bony armour covering their bodies. The armour gives them a rigid body, so they swim slowly in an upright posture by rapidly fanning their fins. The horse-like head set at right angles to the body and the caudal peduncle has evolved into a prehensile “tail” for grasping plants.

Like most other syngnathids, seahorses may undergo color changes to blend with their surroundings, to indicate breeding readiness, or to indicate mood or stress.  Ref

H. reidi males often bright orange and females yellow; both may be covered in brown or white spots. Length 6.8 inches long (17.5 centimeters)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Subtropical; 29°N – 25°S.
Western Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina to Brazil. Usually found near coral reefs, in association with gorgonian corals,

DIET IN THE WILD: Seahorses have a unique feeding mechanism, known as elastic recoil feeding resulting in extremely fast head rotation to accelerate their mouths towards unsuspecting prey. (small crustaceans and zooplankton).

REPRODUCTION: Monogamous and Ovoviviparous
Like other species in their family, pairs generally mate for life. Highly ritualistic courtship may include dramatic color changes to pink or white and intricate dances leading up to the female’s depositing up to 1,000 eggs in the male’s brood pouch.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Data Deficient (DD)
The entire genus Hippocampus is listed in Appendix II of CITES in 2002.
Threats: Collected as aquarium fishes, folk medicine, and curiosities. Also taken as bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries. Degradation of seagrass habitats, especially along the U.S. may be reducing their numbers locally. 

Color of Life, Color on the Reef, Color Conceals      Seahorses use color to blend with their backgrounds and attach to plants to obscure themselves. Certain species also change color when mating using their chromatophores.


California Academy of Sciences Color on the Reef Exhibits 2015


IUCN Red List 2015


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