I'm joining in again with this years #the100dayproject
posting daily on Instagram creating #100daysofseahorses over 100 days,
learning more about all the different species of seahorses.
Using data from the IUCN Redlist, creating from an artistic, aesthetic viewpoint, not a particularly scientific one. I’m hoping to understand more about seahorses while highlighting their vulnerabilities. Seahorses have fascinated me for a long time, with horse-like heads, tails like monkeys, eyes that move independently and the amazing ability to change colour like chameleons.
Three-spot Seahorse (Hippocampus trimaculatus)
1. It is found in coastal waters around Australia, Cocos Islands, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
2. Growing to 10cm in length, its colour can be golden orange, sandy colored, or even totally black.
3. Not much is known about their exact numbers, however they are affected by habitat loss and are collected for use in Chinese traditional medicine. The IUCN Redlist states populations are decreasing, listing them as Vulnerable.
Coleman's Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus colemani)
1. It is found off of the coast of Lord Howe Island, Australia,
2. They are tiny, growing to only 2.7cm with white circular or elliptical markings outlined with narrow red lines on the trunk, dusky brown bands radiating from the eye, brownish-red appendages, and a slightly brownish tail with red markings
3.Not much is known about threats to this species listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend unknown.
False-eye seahorse (Hippocampus biocellatus)
1. Found in the Shark Bay region to Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. It gets its name from the pair of "eye spots" on its back that confuses its predators.
2. Growing to 11cm with blotchy pale greyish to pale brown, with blackish scribbles and fine yellowish-cream spots, two distinct black ocelli surrounded with yellow laterally on upper sides of the trunk.
3. There is no known international trade for the aquarium industry and it is not listed on the IUCN Redlist.
The knobby seahorse (Hippocampus breviceps)
1. It inhabits coastal waters in southwestern and southeastern Australia, from Gregory to Bremer Bay (Western Australia), and from Denial Bay (South Australia) to Newcastle (New South Wales).
2. Growing to 10cm with colouration ranging from drab grey to bright yellow-orange, with small black spots and ringed white ocelli over the trunk and tail.
3. It may be threatened locally by coastal development and is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Unknown.
Fisher’s seahorse (Hippocampus fisheri)
1. Found around Hawaii, previously misidentified around Australia and New Caledonia.
2. Grows to about 8cm in length.
3. Listed on the IUCN Redlist as Least Concern, population unknown.
Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)
1. It lives in the western Atlantic Ocean as far north as Canada and as far south as the Caribbean, Mexico, and Venezuela.
2. It can grow up to 19cm in length with colours ranging from black, grey, brown, and green, to orange, red, and yellow.
3.Frequently caught as bycatch by shrimp trawlers and targeted for the aquarium trade, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist with population trend decreasing.
White's Seahorse (Hippocampus whitei) or
Highcrown seahorse (Hippocampus procerus)
1. Found along the east coast of Australia, Queensland to New South Wales.
2. Reaching a maximum size of 13cm they are generally pale to dark brown or black, although some are entirely yellow.
3. This species is protected in Australia, there has been no reported legal trade of them in the last five years although small numbers caught in bycatch may be illegally traded. With decreasing populations from habitat degradation it is listed on the IUCN Redlist as Endangered.
Softcoral Seahorse (Hippocampus debelius)
1. Found in the soft corals around Egypt.
2. Around 2.4cm in length with dark brown or black tips.
3. This species is only known from two confirmed specimens; it is listed on the IUCN Redlist as Data Deficient, population decreasing.
Short-snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus)
1. It inhabits shallow coastal waters in the Northeastern Atlantic, from the UK and the Netherlands to Senegal and including the Mediterranean Sea and coastal waters of the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.
2. It can grow to 15cm in length and can be black, purple, orange or brown.
3. It is caught as bycatch and has continuing threats including habitat degradation and pollution. Listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Unknown.
Patagonian Seahorse (Hippocampus patagonicus)
1. It inhabits coastal waters from northeastern Brazil to Chubut, Argentina.
2. Typically growing between 6-15cm in length with colours ranging from pale to dark brown, yellow, red and orange.
3. Collected and sold as curios, for traditional chinese medicine and for the aquarium trade they are also threatened by habitat loss. Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist with population trend decreasing.
Flatface Seahorse (Hippocampus planifrons)
1. Found along the coast of Western Australia
2. May grow to 12cm in length normally greenish brown with a spotted snout, and dark blotching over the back of the trunk and tail.
3. It is of no interest to fisheries, and not traded in the Asian Traditional Medicine market, populations are unknown so it is listed on the IUCN Redlist as Least Concern.
A new Seahorse (Hippocampus tyro)
1. The species is only known from a single specimen caught off of the coast of the Seychelles
2. Growing to 6.1cm with greyish white to light brown with whitish blotches, grading to light orangish brown posteriorly on the tail.
3. It may be threatened by coral reef habitat degradation and loss caused by coastal development and pollution, destructive fishing practices and the effects of climate change, it may also be taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries, but this is unknown. It is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Unknown
Dwarf Seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae)
1. Found around Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys to Cancun, Mexico.
2. Growing to 5cm in length with good camouflage colours ranging from beige, yellow, green, and black and may have white speckles or dark spots.
3. This species may be particularly susceptible to decline due to seagrass degradation however is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Stable
Tiger Tail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes)
1. Found in coastal areas of the southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the Andaman Islands.
2. Growing to 10cm with a black and yellow tail with white dots around their eyes and cheeks.
3. The species is exploited to supply the traditional medicine, curio and aquarium trades and so are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Decreasing.
Beibu Bay seahorse (Hippocampus casscsio)
1. It is found off the coast of Hainan, China.
2. Growing to 13.3cm with plain dark brown colouration.
3. Further research on the species' habitat is needed to determine whether other threats are also present, it is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Unknown.
Sindo's Seahorse (Hippocampus sindonis)
1. Found around the coast of Japan and southern Korean peninsula
2. Growing to 10cm in length
3. Threatened by habitat loss, pollution and destructive fishing practices, listed as Least concern on the IUCN Redlist with population trend unknown.
Winged seahorse (Hippocampus alatus)
1. Found in Northern Australia and southeastern Papua New Guinea.
2. Growing to 11.7cm in length with pale pinkish-white with numerous minute dark spots and broad reddish-grey saddle-like markings.
3.They are caught and discarded as bycatch by the prawn trawl fishery. There is no known international trade in the Winged Seahorse for the aquarium or Asian Traditional Medicine industries, the IUCN Redlist states populations are Decreasing, listing them as Vulnerable.
Seahorse patterns from illustrations from days 1-17
Knysna Seahorse (Hippocampus capensis)
1. Found in the Knysna, Swartvlei, and Keurbooms estuaries in South Africa, its limited range of this seahorse puts it at great risk of extinction.
2. Growing to 12cm with colouration strongly influenced by its environment and a particular individual's mood. It varies from pale green to brown, often with darker speckles, to purplish black.
3. It is vulnerable to water temperature increases and increased human use of its environment. Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Decreasing.
Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise)
1. Native to the western Pacific
2. Grows to approximately 2.4cm, it’s coloration ranges from yellow, more or less bright, to orange with often small dark spots and sometimes darker bands on the tail.
3. The scope and severity of threats to this species has not yet been assessed, it is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Unknown.
West Australian Seahorse (Hippocampus subelongatus)
1. Found, as the name suggests, in coastal waters around south-western Australia.
2. Growing to 25cm in size they are well camouflaged seahorse varying in colour from brown, white, red, orange to purple, with a series of thin dark bars on the snout.
3. Collected by the aquarium trade and threatened by coastal habitat degeneration, they are listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend unknown.
The paradoxical seahorse (Hippocampus paradoxus)
1. The only known specimen was captured in 1995 off the south west coast of Australia and remained unnoticed in a museum until 2006.
2. The specimen was a female, and has a height of 6.5 cm, yellow-cream in color, and it is covered with small brown spots.
3. The threats to this species and its habitat are unknown so it is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Redlist with population trend Unknown.
Hedgehog Seahorse (Hippocampus spinosissimus)
1. Found in reefs and corals around the Philippines
2. Usually they grow to 12.5cm with a yellow-orange to deep red or dark brown snout, a dark front of head, and pale grey saddles or bands over the trunk and tail
3. This species is one of the two most heavily reported species in trade with decreasing populations it is listed on the IUCN Redlist as Vulnerable
Réunion seahorse (Hippocampus borboniensis)
1. It is found in Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, South Africa, and Tanzania.
2. Growing to 17cm in length they can be all black in colour, or have a creamy. Pale yellow spotted body with large dark circles.
3. They are threatened by habitat loss but not listed on the IUCN Redlist. Sadly they are the most valuable species in the traditional Chinese medicine trade due to their size.