Short-snouted Seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus

  Cold and temperate sea fish

Short-snouted Seahorse

Short-snouted Seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus

Identity card

Short-snouted Seahorse

Scientific name:
Hippocampus hippocampus
Year of description:
Linnaeus, 1758
IUCN Status:
Data Deficient

appendix II


Mediterranean and Black Seas, North Sea to Senegal.


Down to a depth of 10 metres, 30 metres maximum.


Between 7 and 13 cm



Short-snouted Seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus

New-born baby seahorses measure 16 mm.


After a courtship ritual that resembles a ballet, the female lays her eggs in the male's pouch. The male incubates the eggs for 4 to 5 weeks. After hatching, the baby seahorses are expelled from the pouch by intense contractions.

did you know?

Biomimicry: the joints and flexibility of the gripping tail of seahorses inspire the design of new robots or defence systems, particularly in the medical field.

Where is the animal to be found?

It lives mainly along the shore to a depth of 10 metres, but not deeper than 30 metres. It lives in the sea or in lagoons, preferring seaweed areas with sandy and silty seabeds. It chooses the most protected shallow areas when mating.

How can it be recognised?

This seahorse, found in lagoon habitats, can be recognised by the crest on its head. The distinctive feature of this seahorse is that its snout is 2 to 2.5 times longer than its height.

What is distinctive about it?

The distinctive feature of this seahorse is that its snout is 2 to 2.5 times longer than its height. Furthermore, it uses its gripping tail to cling to algae. Beneath its placid exterior, it is a voracious predator that camouflages itself to surprise its prey and suck them in with its tube-shaped mouth.

Threat and protective measure

Climate change and human activities such as fishing, urbanisation and coastal pollution are endangering this seahorse and degrading its habitat. In the Mediterranean, it is considered to be a near-threatened species and is covered by recommendations concerning trade and preserving its habitat.

Short-snouted Seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus

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