Hippocampus spinosissimus Weber, 1913
Hedgehog seahorse
Hippocampus spinosissimus
photo by Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC)

 Family:  Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses), subfamily: Hippocampinae
 Max. size:  17.2 cm OT (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range - 70 m, non-migratory
 Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Sri Lanka to Taiwan and Australia. This species has often been misidentified as Hippocampus histrix (Ref. 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): 16-20. Description: (based on 53 specimens): Adult height: 5.3-16.0cm. Rings: 11+36 (33-39). Snout length: 2.2-2.3 (2.0-2.4) in head length. Dorsal fin rays: 17-18 (16-20) covering 2+1 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 17 (16-19). Coronet: low-medium with four or five sharp spines. Spines: well-developed, blunt tipped or quite sharp, usually longer on first, fourth, seventh and eleventh trunk rings and with a regular series of longer spines on tail. Other distinctive characters: single or double cheek spines; males with very strongly developed spines bordering pouch (blunt-tipped); no nose spine (or very small); spine in front of coronet not excessively developed. Color pattern: variable; plain, or pale with darker ‘saddles’ across dorsolateral surface and darker cross-bands on tail.
 Biology:  Found in the continental shelf, on muddy or sandy bottoms and in coral reefs. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205). Length type refers to height (= TL - head length). Less desirable for traditional Chinese medicine, but use may increase with the rise in patent medicines.
 IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (A2d+4d) (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Torres, Armi G. - 20.01.97
 Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 11.06.10
 Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 10.09.99

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