Two additional seahorse species occur in the IRL and surrounding coastal waters: the longsnout seahorse, H. reidi; and the dwarf seahorse, H. zosterae. The snout of H. reidi is longer than H. erectus, and the body usually has many dark spots evenly scattered over a brown background. Meristic counts are: 16-19 dorsal fin rays; 31 to 39 tail rings; and 15-17 pectoral fin rays. The dwarf seahorse is usually tan and unpatterned, with a dark stripe along the outer edge of the dorsal fin. Adults reach a maximum size of 5 cm, significantly smaller than adult H. erectus. Meristic counts are: 31-32 tail rings; 12 dorsal fin rays; 11-12 pectoral fin rays; and 9-10 trunk rings (Lourie et al. 2004, Robins & Ray 1986). Regional Occurrence & Habitat Preference: The range of H. erectus extends from Nova Scotia to Argentina and throughout the Gulf of Mexico (Robins & Ray 1986). The species is also suspected to inhabit several other Caribbean territories and nations (Lourie et al. 2004). Individuals are found in algal and coral reefs, floating Sargassum clumps, mangroves, seagrasses, soft bottom areas and around sponges to a depth of 73 meters (Foster & Vincent 2004, Vari 1982).
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