Ocean Park Hong Kong
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Yellow Seahorse

Yellow Seahorse
Scientific Name

Hippocampus kuda

Other Common Name(s)
Common Seahorse, Estuary Seahorse, Spotted Seahorse
Body Length

7-17 cm

Distribution
Throughout the inshore waters and estuaries of southeast Asia, Australia, Japan and other islands in the Pacific region
Fun Facts

Fun Facts

  • Yellow seahorses are poor swimmers. They lack caudal fins and only use their dorsal fins for propulsion. Using their prehensile tails, they usually cling to seagrass and other substrates. They can change colour patterns to camouflage themselves.

  • Yellow seahorses are monogamous and will find a new partner only when they lose the old one. During courtship and to enhance their relationship, they change colours, twine their tails together and dance. When they mate, the females deposit their eggs into the brooding pouch of the males.

Threats & Conservation

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix II
CITES: Appendix II

Yellow seahorses are valuable in traditional Chinese medicine. Although their benefits on health have not been tested, they are still captured and traded. In 2001, around 25 million seahorses were consumed as medicine around the world. They are also caught as bycatch. Habitat destruction and pollution has caused a decline in the population of yellow seahorses. They were common a few decades ago in Hong Kong, but have now become rare.

Use herbs instead of seahorses as medicine!

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