Long-snouted seahorse (hippocampus guttulatus)
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Common name Long-snouted seahorse
Scientific name Hippocampus guttulatus
Class Osteichthyes
Order Singnatiformae
Family Syngnathidae
Distribution The Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from the British Isles to Morocco, the Canary Isles, the Azores and Madeira.
Habitat shallow waters (from 1 - 2 m to 20 - 25 m.) especially around coral reefs and meadows of Posidonia oceanica and occasionally seen in lagoons.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 15-16 cm.
Characteristicts A horse-like head set at a right-angle to a body made up of bony rings and dorsal fin rays.

Seahorses are characterized by their upright position, prehensile tail, and horse-like head set at right angles to the body. The male has a brood pouch on the lower portion of the abdomen and the dorsal and pectoral fins are well-developed. The species, hippocampus hippocampus has a short nose and underdeveloped tubercles with a narrow, ridge-like or wedge-shaped coronet joined smoothly to the nape of the neck. They are usually olive - brown in colour but have also been seen with a distinct hue of red or yellow.

Sea horses have tails with extraordinary control and flexibility, so that they can grab onto seaweed and other sea grasses, where they wait to feed on passing brine and shrimp. The mating ritual, usually between May and July, can be a dramatically choreographed affair, with two sea horses performing synchronized swimming as they change colour. They then intertwine their tails and the female places eggs in the male's pouch, where they are fertilized. Pregnancy lasts approximately two to three weeks and hatched offspring are independent of their parents.