Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    bleekeri
    Genus
    Hippocampus
    Family
    Syngnathidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Potbelly Seahorse is one of the largest species of seahorses, growing to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

About the Potbelly Seahorse

The Potbelly Seahorse is one of the largest species of seahorses, growing to 30 cm in length. It has more tail rings than any other seahorse species, a low coronet, and as the common name implies, adults have very big 'bellies'. The colouration of the Potbelly Seahorse is variable. It can be grey, brown, orange, yellow. It often has dark spots and long filaments on the head or body. The colouration appears correlated with habitat.


Identification

What does the Potbelly Seahorse look like?

The Potbelly Seahorse has more tail rings than any other seahorse species, a low coronet, and as the common name implies, adults have very big 'bellies'.

The colouration of the Potbelly Seahorse is variable. It can be grey, brown, orange, yellow. It often has dark spots and long filaments on the head or body. The colouration appears correlated with habitat.


Habitat

Where does the Potbelly Seahorse live?

The species lives in a range of habitats from shallow areas of seagrass to deeper sponge gardens.


Distribution

Where is the Potbelly Seahorse found?

The Potbelly Seahorse is an endemic species that occurs in temperate marine waters from the eastern Victoria and Tasmania to South Australia.

The map linked below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.
Map link: Atlas of Living Australia.


References

  • Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001. Revision of the Australian Seahorses of the Genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with Descriptions of Nine New Species. Records of the Australian Museum. 53: 293-340.