Tag: Seahorses (Hippocampus)

There are 47 species of "true" Seahorses which, together with 2 species of Crested Pipefish (Histiogamphelus), form the subfamily Hippocampinae.

It is difficult to know how many species of Seahorse inhabit local waters or even to ascertain how abundant they may be due to their incredibly shy nature and excellent camouflage.

They are very seldom seen, although that is not to say they are as rare as this would suggest.

Seahorses are one of the few animal species that are instantly recognizable to almost anyone lucky enough to see one due to their typical horse-like upper profile.

Other characteristics include their lack of caudal (tail) fin), scaleless skin, bony ridges along the length of the body and poorly defined dorsal and pectoral fins.

Unlike their close relatives the Pipefish (Syngnathinae), Seahorses use their weak fins to swim in a vertical position whilst their finless, prehensile tail is used to grip onto objects such as seaweed, corals and even mooring lines.

As mentioned above, it is very difficult to say how widespread or abundant Seahorses may be in local waters, although they have been found in areas such as Chaloklum Bay (including below the pier), Mae Haad/Koh Ma, Laem Tien, Koh Tao and even, surprisingly, Sail Rock.

There are 47 species of "true" Seahorses which, together with 2 species of Crested Pipefish (Histiogamphelus), form the subfamily Hippocampinae.

It is difficult to know how many species of Seahorse inhabit local waters or even to ascertain how abundant they may be due to their incredibly shy nature and excellent camouflage.

They are very seldom seen, although that is not to say they are as rare as this would suggest.

Seahorses are one of the few animal species that are instantly recognizable to almost anyone lucky enough to see one due to their typical horse-like upper profile.

Other characteristics include their lack of caudal (tail) fin), scaleless skin, bony ridges along the length of the body and poorly defined dorsal and pectoral fins.

Unlike their close relatives the Pipefish (Syngnathinae), Seahorses use their weak fins to swim in a vertical position whilst their finless, prehensile tail is used to grip onto objects such as seaweed, corals and even mooring lines.

As mentioned above, it is very difficult to say how widespread or abundant Seahorses may be in local waters, although they have been found in areas such as Chaloklum Bay (including below the pier), Mae Haad/Koh Ma, Laem Tien, Koh Tao and even, surprisingly, Sail Rock.

Alan's picture
Common (Hippocampus Taeniopterus) or Estuarine Sea-Horse (H. Kuda)

I found this Sea-Horse lying in the sand, approximately 50m out from the reef at Mae Haad/Koh Ma.

Alan's picture
Tiger-Tail Sea-Horse (Hippocampus Comes)

This little Sea-Horse, attached to a mooring line at Laem Tien, Koh Tao, may possibly be a Tiger-Tail Sea-Horse (Hippocampus Comes) although due to their ability to change colour to match surroundings and also their very infrequent sightings in local waters, this is a tentative identification.