Seahorse Frequently Asked Questions / How many babies does a seahorses have a year?

I don’t believe anyone has studied this particular question in detail. Some species of seahorse have many babies at one time (1600 or more) and some have a small number (as few as a half dozen). Some seahorses breed all year round, and some only breed during the summer months. Some have young as frequent as every 10 days, and some have them around 30 days.

How many survive is another question. It’s thought that as little as 1 in 1000 (or .1%) survive in the wild. In captivity though, some breeders can achieve up to a 95% survival rate. And in captivity, some seahorses which are only seasonal breeders in the wild can breed all year.

Because there is no specific answer, lets just take a seahorse that produces a lot, for a long time. The Brazilian Seahorse Hippocampus reidi can produce up to 1600 young for 6 months out of the year, producing young every 15 days. In theory, one male seahorse could produce 19,200 babies in one year. However, a more reasonable estimate is around 500 young at any time, and they have been found to miss a few cycles now and then. So a more likely number is around 4000-5000. Still, the latter number is possible and in the Pacific Giant Seahorse Hippocampus ingens, a single brood containing over 2000 babies was recorded. Wow!

Posted in: Reproduction