Recognized Hippocampus Species and Common Names

By: | Date: 06/22/2004 | 3 Comments |

The number of recognized seahorse species has grown in recent years to about 40, with more potential species being explored. Seahorses are part of the family Syngnathidae (pronounced sing-nath-i-dee), which means “fused jaw”. All seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus. Below are the scientific name and most commonly accepted common names. Because common names can be quite confusing and vary quite a bit, it is best to always use the scientific name of a species.

Scientific Name Common Name
H. abdominalis Pot Bellied Seahorse
H. algiricus West African Seahorse
H. angustus Narrow Bellied Seahorse
H. barbouri Barbour’s Seahorse
H. bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse
H. borboniesis Réunion Seahorse
H. breviceps Short Snouted Seahorse
H. camelopardalis Giraffe Seahorse
H. capensis Knysna Seahorse
H. colemani Coleman’s Pygmy seahorse
H. comes Tiger Tail Seahorse
H. coronatus Crowned Seahorse
H. debelius Soft Coral Seahorse
H. denise Denise’s Seahorse
H. erectus Lined Seahorse
H. fisheri Fisher’s Seahorse
H. fuscus Sea Pony
H. grandiceps Big-head Seahorse
H. guttulatus Speckled Seahorse
H. hippocampus European Seahorse
H. histrix Thorney Seahorse
H. ingens Pacific Giant Seahorse
H. jayakari Jayakar’s Seahorse
H. kelloggi Great Seahorse
H. kuda Spotted Seahorse
H. lichtensteini Lichtenstein’s Seahorse
H. minotaur Bullneck Seahorse
H. mohnikei Japanese Seahorse
H. pontohi Pontoh’s Seahorse
H. procerus Emperor Seahorse
H. queenslandicus Queensland Seahorse
H. reidi Brazilian Seahorse
H. satomiae Satomi’s Pygmy Seahorse
H. severnsi Sulawesi Pygmy Seahorse
H. sindonis Shiho’s Seahorse
H. spinosissimus Hedgehog Seahorse
H. subelongatus West Australian Seahorse
H. trimaculatus Three-Spot Seahorse
H. tuberculatus Knobby Seahorse
H. whitei White’s Seahorse
H. zebra Zebra Seahorse
H. zosterae Dwarf Seahorse

Note: Seahorse genetics is just beginning to be fully understood, and as a result, seahorse taxonomy is constantly changing. If you see anything in error, please let us know.

Hippocampus barbouri

Hippocampus barbouri


Hall Heather J., Lourie Sara A., & Vincent Amanda C.J. 1999. Seahorses: An Identification Guide to the World’s Species and Their Conservation. Project Seahorse.

Kuiter Rudie H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and Their Relatives. TMC Publishing.

Updated May 18, 2009

3 Responses to “Recognized Hippocampus Species and Common Names”

  1. Karina Says:

    what seahorse breed changes colour most and has the most wide variety of coloours which it changes???

  2. Aquagrrl Says:

    Hmm. That’s tough to say. All seahorse can change colors, and of the seahorses that are brightly colored, they can just as easily decide to be a drab brown. H. reidi (the Brazilian seahorse) is consider to be one of the more colorful species. H. barbouri, H. angustus, H. ingens, and H. subelongatus are all also often very colorful.

  3. Clarrise Vermont Says:

    If H. zebra and H. mohnikei can be a possible match? Is if possible that other type of seahorse can be match up with a different one?

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