Spiny seahorse

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Spiny seahorse
Hippocampus hystrix (Spiny seahorse).jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Syngnathidae
Genus: Hippocampus
Species: H. histrix
Binomial name
Hippocampus histrix
Kaup, 1856

The spiny seahorse (Hippocampus histrix), also referred to as the thorny seahorse, is a seahorse in the family Syngnathidae (seahorses and pipefishes) of the order Syngnathiformes. H. histrix is found in seagrass beds as well as weedy or spongy reefs in the Indo-Pacific and has one of the largest species ranges of any seahorse. It occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade. It grows to a size of 17 cm in length.


H. histrix is listed as vulnerable by both the IUCN[1] and the Viet Nam National Red Data Book. Trade of this species is limited under CITES, requiring licenses and a minimum size limit to be met. Like many other species of seahorse, H. histrix is increasingly threatened by traditional and patented Chinese medicine.


  1. ^ Wiswedel, S. 2012. Hippocampus histrix. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 October 2012.