Background

The Long-Snouted Seahorse is a slender and bizzare looking fish is one of two species of seahorse found within the UK’s waters. Its colour can range between, green, yellow and brown, often accompanied by white speckles.  Their appeance is well adapted to providing them with excellent camoflauge, being able to effectively hide from predators.

Habitat

They are generally a tropical or sub-tropical species, becasue of this they are not very widespread throughout the UK. They are found in shallow waters between 1m to 20m deep amongst seagrass beds. This makes them a great species to look for whilst snorkelling.  However, during the winter season, the Spiny Seahorse moves into deeper water to escape the rough weather.

Diet

They have quite the appetite needing to eat up to 50 times per day on plankton, small fish and shrimps. The long snout of the seahorse allows it to poke into hard-to-reach areas where it can then suck up its prey like its using a straw.

Predators & Threats

Given its slow movement and a lack of defensensive abilities, seahorses are often predated on by crabs, larger fish and rays. Throughout the globe seahorses are threatened by their use in the pet trade and chinese medicine as well as for sale as dried out souvenirs.

Facts

  • Seahorses are very poor swimmers, as a result, they need to use their tails to cling onto nearby objects such as saeweeds and seagrass to prevent themselves from drifting away.
  • They have no stomach and must constantly eat to prevent starvation.
  • Female seahorses give their eggs to the males where they then store and fertilise them within their pouch.

 

Common Name(s)Scientific Name
 Long-Snouted Seahorse, Spiny SeahorseHippocampus guttulatus 
Size
 Up to 22cm in length
Lifespan
 2-3 years

Best Time to Look

They are found in shallower water during the warmer seasons, making summer the best time to look.

Where to find Long-Snouted Seahorse