Seahorse Species Profiles

Info on Seahorses Care, Identification and More

There are over 30 recognized Hippocampus genus member seahorses that inhabit tropical, sub-tropical and temperate waters around the world, but only a handful of species are typically encountered in the aquarium trade. From the few wild and numerous tank-bred specimens one finds for sale, H. kuda and erectus are at the top of the list of the most common species of seahorses that are seen in aquariums.

  • 01 of 06
    Hippocampus reidi
    By Schreibsal (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    The Brazilian Seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) was initially introduced into the aquarium trade after being imported from Brazil in the past, this is actually an Atlantic Ocean species that occurs from as far north as the Carolinas, Bermuda, and south to Brazil.The Brazilian Seahorse has many colors​ and is one of the largest known species.

  • 02 of 06
    Dwarf Seahorse
    By Will Thomas [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    In the wild, the Dwarf Seahorse (Hippocampus zostera) is found in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Bermuda to the Bahamas, southern Florida and the entire Gulf of Mexico. As the name Dwarf Seahorse implies, this is a tiny species that attains less than two inches in size, which makes them ideal for mini or nano-reef tanks.

  • 03 of 06
    Hippocampus bargibanti
    By Jenny (JennyHuang) from Taipei (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    The Gorgonian Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is arguably one of the cutest animals in all the oceans. Discovered in 1969 near New Caledonia, these fish are fairly new to the aquarium trade.

  • 04 of 06
    Seahorse-aquarium
    By No machine-readable author provided. Stevenj assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    The Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is also known as the Erect or Atlantic Seahorse. This Seahorse adapts well to aquarium life if it is fed properly and their tank is well maintained. The Lined Seahorse prefers a quiet tank with other non-aggressive fish, such as the Mandarin Dragonet.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    ' Kuda seahorse,at the Seahorse Nature Aquarium, Exeter, England. Kuda seahorses are often known as the yellow seahorse, Hippocampus kuda'
    Francis Apesteguy / Getty Images

    The Smooth Seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) is also known as the Spotted, Yellow, or Black Seahorse. A protective trait that this and many other seahorses have is the ability to change color to match into their surroundings. It is not unusual for them to take on the coloration of a favorite object one has decided to adopt as a hiding place.

  • 06 of 06
    Tiger Tail Seahorse
    budak/Flickr CC 2.0

    Of a bold yellow coloration and named for the tiger-like rings on its tail, the Tiger-Tail Seahorse is a very hardy species that grows to about six inches in height. This is a reef-dwelling seahorse that inhabits tropical waters around Malaysia and Singapore, and as far east as the Philippines. It can be found at depths from 15 to 50 feet in the wild and prefers to live among soft corals, especially finger and toadstool leather corals, gorgonians and sponges.