Hippocampus kuda Bleeker, 1852
Spotted seahorse
photo by Greenfield, J.

 Family:  Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses), subfamily: Hippocampinae
 Max. size:  30 cm TL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 68 m, non-migratory
 Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Pakistan and India to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Society Islands (Ref. 30915). This name is used for maybe 10 distinct species in the Indo-Pacific (Ref. 12238, 30915). International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies.
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-18; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 4-4. Description: (based on 80 specimens): Adult height: 7.0-17.0cm. Rings: 11+36 (34-38). Snout length: 2.3 (2.0-2.6) in head length. Dorsal fin rays: 17-18 covering 2+1 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 16 (15-18). Coronet: low-medium, rounded, overhanging at the back, often with a cup-like depression in the top; sometimes with broad flanges; not spiny. Spines: low, rounded bumps only. Other distinctive characters: deep head; deep body; thick snout. Color pattern: often totally black with a grainy texture; alternatively pale yellow or cream with fairly large, dark spots (especially females); may be sandy colored, blending in with the surroundings.
 Biology:  Inhabit seagrass and marine algae areas of estuaries and seaward reefs; also on steep mud slopes. Found in open water and attached to drifting Sargassum up to 20 km from shore. Adults in pairs (Ref. 48635). Benthic to pelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds on zooplankton (Ref. 85309). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The males carry the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Not shown to be monogamous in the laboratory (Ref. 30915). Very popular aquarium fish. Highly valued species in traditional Chinese medicine (Ref. 30915). Has been reared in captivity (Ref. 35416).
 IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (A2cd+3cd+4cd) (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 16.06.92
 Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 28.02.13
 Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 24.08.99

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