Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in sheltered bays. Color varies from either white, orange or yellow with light patches and sometimes network of fine dark lines; also with narrow lines across snout. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), monogamous (Ref. 36642). The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch which is found under the tail (Ref. 205).
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Distribution

Range Description

Very little is known about the species that is now recognised as H. angustus.
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Eastern Indian Ocean: northwestern Australia only, from Torres Strait to North West Cape. Records from Queensland need verification; often misidentified with Hippocampus histrix. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04) and a minimum size of 10 cm applies.
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Australia: Shark Bay to Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 1719
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Size

Maximum size: 220 mm TL
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Max. size

22.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3132))
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Diagnostic Description

Description: (based on 54 specimens): Adult height: 7.8-15.5 cm. Rings: 11 + 33-34 (32-35). Snout length: 2.2 (2.0-2.5) in head length. Dorsal fin rays: 18 (17-19) covering 2+1 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 16-17 (15-19). Coronet: medium height with 5 well developed sharp spines. Spines: well developed (blunt or sharp tips); usually low in neck region. Other distinctive characters: double sharp cheek spines; double spine below eye; prominent, sharp eye spine.Color pattern: body often covered in a net-like pattern of brown markings; snout with fine stripes; spines with a brown band towards their tip.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species has been trawled from depths of 3-63 m (Lourie et al. 1999) and has also been collected from algal reef habitat from 12-25 m depth (Kuiter 2000). 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).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 3 - 63 m (Ref. 30915)
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Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 10 - 22

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 10 - 22
 
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Depth: 3 - 63m.
From 3 to 63 meters.

Habitat: pelagic. Found in sheltered bays. Color varies from either white, orange or yellow with light patches and sometimes network of of fine dark lines; also with narrow lines across snout.
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Trophic Strategy

Found in algal reefs (Ref. 52034) of inshore waters (Ref. 75154).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Male carries the eggs in a brood pouch (Ref. 205, 53335).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hippocampus angustus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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
2002
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Project Seahorse

Reviewer/s
Lafrance, P., Lourie, S., Marsden, D. & Vincent, A.C.J. (Syngnathid Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
The species assessed as H. angustus in 1996 is now recognized as H. subelongatus. In assessing the species now identified as H. angustus we found that appropriate data on biology and ecology, habitat, abundance and distribution are not available for this species. Further research is needed.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
Unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is known to be caught as by-catch in trawls in northern Australia (S. Lourie, pers. comm.).
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
H. angustus was moved under the Australian Wildlife Protection Act in 1998. Further research on this species is needed. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums; price category: unknown; price reliability:
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Wikipedia

Narrow-bellied seahorse

The narrow-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus angustus, is a species of fish in the Syngnathidae family. It is endemic to Australia. Its natural habitat is open seas.

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