25-05-2018, 15:08
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Hippocampus hystrix

Hippocampus hystrix, Thorny seahorse is a widespread species of coastal seahorse that occurs throughout most of the Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to Hawaii and French Polynesia. This species lives in sponges, among stony reefs, soft corals and dense algae, at a depth of 10 -15 m.

Spiny seahorse got its name because of the spines that protrude from the corners of the bony plates covering the body. Spiny seahorse is, like all seahorses, a peculiar and quite interesting fish. The seahorse has a long snout with small white stripes. The coloration of Hippocampus hystrix varies greatly from bright yellow to pale pink or green, and the spines have dark tips. In general, the coloration of the skate takes on the color that is more appropriate to the environment. The skate has independently rotating eyes that allow it to scan its entire surroundings for potential prey, as well as adding interest to its already unusual appearance. The skate's maximum size is 17 cm.

Hippocampus hystrix, Thorny seahorse

Seahorses are predators by nature; they remain motionless until a prey such as a small crustacean, small fish or other small invertebrates swim past its mouth. Skates can be kept in a shared aquarium with small, peaceful fish such as gobies and dogfish, but it is still recommended to keep them in a species aquarium. In the presence of large actinids and hydroid polyps in the aquarium, the life of the skates will be threatened, so it is not recommended to keep them together.

To keep Thorny seahorse suit the aquarium volume of 100 liters, which can contain two pairs of skates. The aquarium should be placed live rock, which in addition to their decorative functions will serve as an additional source of food. Skates feel more confident attached to any solid support, so the aquarium should also be placed in the branches of coral and plants, or their artificial counterparts.

Hippocampus hystrix, Thorny seahorse

Water parameters: temperature 24-26° C, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.023. Circulation of water in the aquarium must be minimal. Requires aeration and efficient filtration of water. As the soil is desirable to use fine sand.

Skates spiny in the aquarium are fed artemia and fry fish. Do not refuse and from the previously ground meat of shrimp, mussels and squid. Keep in mind that seahorses eat only that food, which is in the water column, from the bottom they do not take food.


The most distinctive and perhaps most interesting feature of Hippocampus hystrix is how they reproduce. During mating, the female lays eggs in a sac located in the male's tail, where they are also fertilized. The male then closes the sac with the eggs and thus the eggs are in a protected environment. To prevent the embryos from dying from suffocation, they are supplied with oxygen through a network of capillaries in the tail. At the end of incubation, the male alternately begins pushing the tiny skates out of his pouch, which sometimes takes him several hours.

Hippocampus hystrix, Thorny seahorse

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