Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Adults inhabit soft bottom (Ref. 42735, 75154) of the continental shelf (Ref. 75154). Maximum length is based on a straight-line length measurement from upper surface (ignoring spines) of first trunk ring, to tip of tail (Ref. 42735). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205).
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001 Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Rec. Aus. Mus. 53:293-340. (Ref. 42735)
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Distribution

Range Description

Hippocampus alatus is found in northern Australia from the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria, to the tip of Cape York (Kuiter 2001), as well as south Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (northern Sulawesi) and southern Philippines (Kuiter 2009).
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Indo-West Pacific: northern Australia (including Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia) and southeastern Papua New Guinea. Also from the Philippines and Indonesia. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies. Formerly classified as vulnerable in the 2000 IUCN red list of threatened species (Ref. 36508).
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001 Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Rec. Aus. Mus. 53:293-340. (Ref. 42735)
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Australia and Papua New Guinea.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15 - 18; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 4
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001 Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Rec. Aus. Mus. 53:293-340. (Ref. 42735)
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Size

Max. size

11.7 cm OT (male/unsexed; (Ref. 42735)); 13.6 cm OT (female)
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001 Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Rec. Aus. Mus. 53:293-340. (Ref. 42735)
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Diagnostic Description

Dorsal fin rays usually 17; trunk rings 11; tail rings 34-36; subdorsal spines 2-3/0-0.5,1,0-0.5, usually enlarged on 11th trunk ring; nose spine absent; spine above eye of moderate length, reaching pupil diameter; lateral head spine large, usually larger than spine above eye; coronet well developed, with 5-7 blunt spines, apex rough and rugose; upper shoulder-ring spine at gill opening; lower shoulder-ring spine low and thick, very broad when single or divided into two rounded tips; superior trunk and tail ridges with enlarged spines, forming laterally directed pairs at regular intervals with 2-3 on trunk and 3-4 on tail, greatly produced in young and least prominent in males; long and sometimes broad dermal flaps, often frilled along edges, on nape, lateral head spines, and enlarged body spines, usually attached posteriorly and just below tip; lateral line with pores on each trunk ring, running just above inferior ridge, continuing on tail to 12th-15th ring (Ref. 42735).
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001 Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Rec. Aus. Mus. 53:293-340. (Ref. 42735)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

Hippocampus alatus is a benthic species often found on soft bottom habitats (Kuiter 2001). In Papua New Guinea, specimens were found on deep, open sand slopes with few sponges and gorgonian corals in an area that is influenced by strong tidal currents (Kuiter 2001) between reefs and islands (Thompson and Bray 2009). H. alatus is found on remote reefs, on outcrops, slopes with rubble or corals that provide shelter and for a hold, and usually in the deeper current prone channels between reefs or islands (Kuiter 2009).

Like all seahorses the females transfer eggs to the male’s brood pouch (Breder and Rosen 1966). All seahorse species have vital parental care, and many species studied to date have high site fidelity (e.g. Perante et al. 2002), highly structured social behaviour (e.g. Vincent and Sadler 1995), and relatively sparse distributions (Lourie et al. 1999).


Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 10 - 80 m (Ref. 42735)
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2001 Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Rec. Aus. Mus. 53:293-340. (Ref. 42735)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 17 - 17
 
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Male carries the eggs in a brood pouch (Ref. 205).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Czembor, C.A.

Reviewer/s
Vincent, A. & Kuiter, R.

Contributor/s
Wiswedel, S.

Justification
This species is known from only a few specimens; no population information is currently available. Although specimens are caught and discarded as bycatch in the shrimp trawl fishery, no trade of the species is recorded. This species is therefore assessed as Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
No information is currently available on population size or trends.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
H. alatus are caught and discarded as bycatch by the prawn trawl fishery (Kuiter 2001, Thompson and Bray 2009).
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Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
International: Listed under Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITIES).

Australian Government Legislation: Marine Listed under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which ensures a government permit to export this species (Department of the Environment and Heritage 2000).
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Wikipedia

Hippocampus alatus

The winged seahorse, Hippocampus alatus, is known to occur in Australia and Papua New Guinea but also suspected to occur in Indonesia and the Philippines but this has no yet been confirmed.[2] In 2012, H. alatus was listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b C. A. Czembor (2012). "Hippocampus alatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ Rudie H. Kuiter (2001). "Revision of the Australian seahorses of the genus Hippocampus (Syngnathiformes: Syngnathidae) with descriptions of nine new species". Records of the Australian Museum 53 (3): 293–340. doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.53.2001.1350. 


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