Sea Horse: A Case Study


Seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are among the many genera whose life histories might render them vulnerable to overfishing or other disruptions such as habitat damage. They are generally characterized by a sparse distribution, low mobility, small home ranges, low fecundity, lengthy parental care and mate fidelity (Foster and Vincent 2004). In addition, the male seahorse, rather than the female, becomes pregnant. Indeed, curiosity about this phenomenon explains why currently more is known about reproduction than about other life-history parameters. Such life-history characteristics (notwithstanding exceptions to these generalities) may help explain why seven seahorse species in the Philippines are listed as “Vulnerable” on the 2015 Red List of Threatened Species: H. barbouri, H. comes, H. histrix, H. kelloggi, H. kuda, H. spinosissimus, and H. trimaculatus. The other three species are listed as Data Deficient which reflects substantial gaps in knowledge even for heavily exploited seahorses, such as the pygmy seahorses: H. bargibanti, H. denise, and H. pontohi. It is important to know the general life cycle or history and how these sea horses can be culture to encourage the reduction in overfishing of these species.

Seahorse Taxonomy

Seahorses are bony fishes (teleosts), complete with gills, fins and a swim-bladder (Lourie et al., 1999). Seahorses comprise one genus (Hippocampus) of the family Syngnathidae, which otherwise consists of about 55 genera of pipefishes, pipehorses and seadragons (Belli, 2006). The entire family Syngnathidae falls within the order Gasterosteiformes (Vari 1982; Fritzsche 1984; Palsson&Pietsch 1989; Nelson 1994; Orr 1995) (Figure 1). 

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Buhari, T. (2020). Sea Horse: A Case Study. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Buhari, Taofeek "Sea Horse: A Case Study" Afribary. Afribary, 14 May. 2020, Accessed 28 May. 2024.


Buhari, Taofeek . "Sea Horse: A Case Study". Afribary, Afribary, 14 May. 2020. Web. 28 May. 2024. < >.


Buhari, Taofeek . "Sea Horse: A Case Study" Afribary (2020). Accessed May 28, 2024.