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Overview

Brief Summary

Hippocampus sindonis (known in English as Dhiho’s or Shiho’s Seahorse) is a species of seahorse known only from the waters around Japan. The maximum recorded adult height is 8 cm. Total head length/snout length ratio is around 3.0 (2.8 to 3.3). The body includes 10 trunk rings and usually 37 tail rings (36 to 38). The dorsal fin is supported by 2 trunk rings and 1 tail ring. There are typically 12 dorsal fin rays (11 to 15) and 12 pectoral fin rays (12 to 14). There is a single prominent round-tipped cheek spine and a prominent double eye spine (front spine shorter than back one). (Lourie et al. 2004)

Seahorses of this species have often been misidentified as H. coronatus (which, among other differences, has more tail rings) and H. mohnikei (which, among other differences, has 11 trunk rings, more tail rings, and double [low] cheek spines) (Lourie et al. 2004).

Although little is known about the biology of this particular species, for seahorses in general, it is the male, rather than the female, that becomes pregnant. The female inserts her ovipositor into the male’s brood pouch, where she deposits her eggs, which the male fertilizes. The fertilized eggs then embed in the male’s pouch. The pouch acts like the womb of a female mammal, complete with a placental fluid that bathes the eggs, and provides nutrients and oxygen to the developing embryos while removing waste products. See Project Seahorse for more information about the fascinating biology of seahorses.

  • Lourie, S.A., Foster, S.J., Cooper, E.W.T, and A.C.J. Vincent. 2004. A Guide to the Identification of Seahorses. Project Seahorse and TRAFFIC North America. Washington D.C.: University of British Columbia and World Wildlife Fund. Illustrations by Laurence Richardson.
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Length type refers to height (= TL - head length). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205).
  • Lourie, S.A., A.C.J. Vincent and H.J. Hall 1999 Seahorses: an identification guide to the world's species and their conservation. Project Seahorse, London. 214 p. (Ref. 30915)
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Distribution

Range Description

Hippocampus sindonis is endemic to Japan. It is known off Hamamatsu, Totomi Bay, Sagami, Misaki, Shizuoka Prefectures.
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Northwest Pacific: southern Japan and the southern Korean Peninsula. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04).
  • Nakabo, T. 2002 Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species, English edition I. Tokai University Press, Japan, pp v-866. (Ref. 41299)
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Western North Pacific: Southeastern Japan.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 70 mm OT
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Max. size

8.0 cm OT (male/unsexed; (Ref. 30915))
  • Lourie, S.A., A.C.J. Vincent and H.J. Hall 1999 Seahorses: an identification guide to the world's species and their conservation. Project Seahorse, London. 214 p. (Ref. 30915)
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Type Information

Type for Hippocampus sindonis
Catalog Number: USNM 49730
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration; Radiograph; Photograph
Locality: Totomi B. Japan, Japan, Pacific
Vessel: Albatross
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
There is no information available for the life history and habitat of Hippocampus sindonis (Lourie et al. 1999). Males carry eggs in brood pouch which is found under the tail (R. Fritzsche pers. comm. 2009).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; non-migratory; marine
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 76 - 76
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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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
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Fritzsche, R., Matsuura, K., Collette, B., Nelson, J., Dooley, J., Carpenter, K., Bartnik, S., Robinson, E., Morgan, S.K. & Sorensen, M.

Reviewer/s
Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.

Justification
Hippocampus sindonis is widespread along the coast of Japan with no known threats and therefore of Least Concern.

History
  • 2003
    Data Deficient
    (IUCN 2003)
  • 2003
    Data Deficient
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for Hippocampus sindonis.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The are no known major threats to Hippocampus sindonis.

Seahorses are vulnerable to a number of threats. This species is not known for any commercial trade, however it maybe taken as by-catch, susceptible to coastal habitat degradation, or exploited for the Chinese medicine trade or ornamental trade.

This species may be particularly susceptible to decline. All seahorse species have vital parental care, and many species studied to date have high site fidelity (Perante et al. 2002, Vincent et al. in review), highly structured social behaviour (Vincent and Sadler 1995), and relatively sparse distributions (Lourie et al. 1999). The importance of life history parameters in determining response to exploitation has been demonstrated for a number of species (Jennings et al. 1998).
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Hippocampus sidonis has been listed under CITES appendix II ensuring that international trade of this species is monitored. This species may be found to occur in a number of marine protected areas within its range.

Further research is needed on the biology, ecology, threats and population trends of this species.
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Wikipedia

Shiho's seahorse

Dhiho's seahorse, Hippocampus sindonis, is a species of fish in the Syngnathidae family. It is endemic to Japan.[1]

References[edit]


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