Tiger Tail Seahorse

Kat Nguyen

Hippocampus comes

It is found in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtidal aquatic beds and coral reefs. It is threatened & endangered by habitat loss.The tiger tail sea horse lives in Western Central Pacific: climate in water is tropical; 15°N - 1°N

Why are they endangered?

Seahorse populations are thought to have been endangered in recent years by over fishing and habitat destruction. The seahorse is used in traditional Chinese medicine, and as many as 20 million seahorses may be caught each year and sold for this purpose. Import and export of seahorses has been controlled under CITES since May 15, 2004.

Info about them

Tiger Tail Seahorses are Secondary Consumers that eat small fish, coral, small shrimp, and plankton. The most common pattern is alternating yellow and black. The tail has stripes from the belly to the tip of the tail. These sea horses are normally found in pairs on coral reefs, sponge gardens, kelp, or floating Sargassum. The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch on their chest which holds from 1 - 2,000 eggs and the pregnancy takes from 1 to 4 weeks. They don't have scales as fish do, they have more like hard thin skin stretched out around bony rings on their bodies. They swim upright, not horizontally.

Over fished for Medicine

They are used in traditional Chinese medicine to tonify the Kidneys and fortify yang (aka for impotence, urinary incontinence, deficiency wheezing and debility in the elderly), and to invigorate the blood (for bleeding and pain from blood stasis, and swelling due to sores and boils). It was also used to promote labor and is therefore contraindicated in pregnancy. Seahorse is also used in food as a tonic.

Why we need them

Seahorse are important predators on bottom-dwelling organisms; removing them may disrupt ecosystems. Their unusal life history, only the male becomes pregnant and pairs are monogamous in many species which offers an opportunity to explore our understanding of reproductive ecology. Their use in traditional medicine, aquarium displays, and as curios means they are much traded.