The Amazing Spiny Seahorse

Hippocampus histrix

Spiny Sea Horse

It's scientific name is "Hippocampus Histrix"

Named after the spines that project from the corners of the bony plates covering the body. The spiny seahorse (Hippocampus histrix) is, like all seahorses, an intriguing and peculiar-looking fish.

Classification of a Spiny Seahorse

Common Name: Spiny Seahorse

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Osteichthyes

Order: Sygnathiformes

Family: Syngnathidae

Genus Species: Hippocampus spp.

Species: Hippocampus Histrix


  • Habitat:Found at depths of at least six meters, the spiny seahorse is often found in water over soft bottoms, amongst soft coral, sponges and sea squirts, where there is little or no seagrass. It may also be found in shallower areas where algae grow on reef rubble (dead, unstable coral).
  • Threats:Many seahorses are threatened by exploitation for use in traditional Chinese medicines, as well as for curios, souvenirs and aquariums. Although the spiny seahorse is known to be collected, it is less desirable than some other species for the traditional Chinese medicine trade and is rarely seen in the aquarium trade.
  • Reproduction:In the Indian and Pacific oceans is where they reproduce like all other seahorse with male coming pregnant.The female deposits her eggs into a hollow section of the male's abdomen knows as a brood pouch. Here the eggs are fertilized, grow, and hatch in 10 to 60 days. Once the tiny young are born, they'll reach maturity in approximately 6 months.
  • What it eats? In the Ocean they are able to eat zooplankton but in the Shedd Aquarium, they're fed brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. With whatever they eat, they have to suck in and swallow whole because they have no teeth.
  • The color of the spiny seahorse ranges from white to light yellow to pale brown and spots and fine lines cover the body.
  • This seahorse has bony armor with spines sticking out all over it. The spines rotate between being long and short.
  • The largest of the spines poke out of the front of the head to protect its eyes and head.
  • A curly, prehensile tail that is able to grab things,rolls up at the bottom of this seahorse.

Spiny Sea Horse in Action

hippocampe epineux spiny seahorse.avi

Spiny Seahorse Images

Fun Facts

  • The spiny seahorse is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and listed on Appendix II of CITES.
  • Spiny seahorses have few predators chasing them.
  • They come from the region of the Philippines.