CHIMPANZEES COMING THIS MAY

Seahorse holding onto kelp with its tail
Oceans

Potbellied Seahorse

Hippocampus abdominalis

About

Potbellied seahorses are the largest seahorse in Australia. They get their name from the large abdomen that males sport, in which they carry hundreds of eggs during spawning season. Males are good dads, raising several broods of young each year from different mothers, who take turns depositing eggs into their belly pouch. The eggs hatch into larvae, which mature into adults.

Larvae and adults alike can swim—or hang on to floating material in the ocean with their ridged, curved tails! They are nocturnal, sometimes forming groups at night to feed. To eat, they suck up their food through their long snout and swallow it. Unlike a horse on land that chews grass, seahorses don’t have any teeth!

Size
Up to 14 inches long
Live in
Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea
Food
Marine invertebrates
IUCN Red List Status
Least Concern
Seahorse in profile

Conservation

Potbellied seahorses are not facing major extinction threats. They do face habitat loss and are caught as part of traditional medicine practices and the souvenir trade. Other marine species face threats from overfishing. You can help protect ocean wildlife by choosing sustainable seafood. The Seafood Watch program can teach you how!

WHERE ARE THEY AT THE ZOO?