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Species: Hippocampus ingens, Pacific seahorse

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only seahorse



Hippocampus ingens Girard, 1858

Pacific seahorse

Neck curved, with head at about right angle to body; snout elongate; coronet (crown-like structure on top of head) moderately high (lower in large males), tilted back, with 5 points, a high plate at front; promintent spines at eye and (down-pointed)cheek; tubercles generally well developed, but becoming obscure in large males; male with a slight keel on chest; body rings 11-12 + 38-40; dorsal fin large, its base elevated, 19-21 rays; pectorals small, 15-17 rays; anal fin small, 4 rays; tail prehensile, curlable, without a tail fin ; brood pouch on trunk.

Color variable according to its surroundings (weed, rock, coral, etc.); generally various shades of red, yellow, tan, brown, grey, black, or green; often with small blackish and white spots or whitish cross bands and lines.

Size: grows to about 30 cm.

Inhabits weed beds, sea-whips and gorgonians. Evidently also associates with flotsam because it has been collected at the surface and from the stomachs of tunas.

Depth: 1-60 m.

Southern California through the Gulf of California to Chile, including Cocos, Malpelo and the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Corals
  • Flotsam
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Brooded
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Appendix II
  • Listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 60