West African seahorse

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West African seahorse
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Syngnathidae
Genus: Hippocampus
H. algiricus
Binomial name
Hippocampus algiricus
Kaup, 1856
  • Hippocampus deanei Duméril, 1857
  • Hippocampus kaupii Duméril, 1870
  • Hippocampus punctulatus Kaup, 1856

The West African seahorse (Hippocampus algiricus) is a species of fish in the family Syngnathidae (Seahorses and pipefish). It is found in the eastern central Atlantic Ocean off Angola, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, as well as the Canary Islands. Although there have been no records from Algeria since Guichenot said that the type was collected at Béjaïa in the 1850s, but the location given may be an error.[1]

There is scarce information despite conservation efforts for this species. The first records of the West African seahorse at Gran Canaria Island, located in the north-east Atlantic ocean, were confirmed by genetic and morphometric analysis. The West African Seahorse is the only recorded seahorse species in the Canary Islands. [2]

It was first videotaped in 2012. The video is part of a joint investigation between Project Seahorse, Imperial College London, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) into West Africa’s burgeoning seahorse trade. The number of seahorses exported, primarily to China for traditional medicine, has risen sharply in the last few years to about 600,000 seahorses annually. Meanwhile, scientists know virtually nothing about their numbers, habitat, or life cycle.[3]

The efforts of Project Seahorse, directed by Dr. Amanda Vincent, resulted in the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) adopting international trade controls for seahorses in 2002.[4]


  1. ^ a b Pollom, R. (2017). "Hippocampus algiricus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T41007A54907846. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T41007A54907846.en.
  2. ^ Otero-Ferrer, F.; Herrera, R.; López, A.; Socorro, J.; Molina, L.; Bouza, C. (2015-09-13). "First records ofHippocampus algiricusin the Canary Islands (north-east Atlantic Ocean) with an observation of hybridization withHippocampus hippocampus". Journal of Fish Biology. 87 (4): 1080–1089. doi:10.1111/jfb.12760. ISSN 0022-1112. PMID 26365616.
  3. ^ Project seahorse: first ever video footage of elusive West African seahorse. Accessed 2012-11-01.
  4. ^ Cisneros-Montemayor, AM; West K; Boiro IS; Vincent ACJ (2015). "An assessment of West African seahorses in fisheries catch and trade". Journal of Fish Biology. 88 (2): 751–759. doi:10.1111/jfb.12818. PMID 26676971. Abstract.