News / Species Spotlight / Aquacultured Half-spined Seahorse (05/12/16)

Aquacultured Half-spined Seahorse

Half-spined Seahorse (Hippocampus semispinosus)

Quality Marine is excited to announce that as part of our continuing effort to promote sustainable and responsible marine life conservation, we have obtained the first aquacultured Hippocampus semispinosus Seahorses available to the trade. This ultra exclusive seahorse, also commonly known as Half-spined Seahorse or Haldspine Seahorse, was not previously available because of trade restrictions and conservation efforts focused on the natural range of this species which covers the East Alas Strait, Indonesia (Bali to the Timor Sea and Northwestern Australia). Yet, through the successful captive breeding of this species by Aquarium Des Lagons in New Caledonia, and with the assistance a vendor exclusive to Quality Marine, we are now able offer an aquacultured Half-spined Seahorse to customers.

In the wild, the Half-spined Seahorse, tends to live in well-sheltered areas close to the sea floor using muddy habitats near mangroves. They feed by sucking small crustaceans and zooplakton. The Half-spined Seahorse males and females differ in color. Males range from yellowish to dark brown with white splashes on its trunk while females are a cream yellow to a dark red color with grayish splashes on its trunk rings. Among the features that make this seahorse different and interesting is that it tends to be leaner through its trunk and it may have algae growth on its spine. Like all seahorses, the males birth baby seahorses; they have a pouch where the female seahorse deposits her eggs for the male to carry and incubate until gestation.

In aquariums, aquacultured Half-spined Seahorses are kept in tanks with props to grasp with their tails and live by themselves. They are poor swimmers thus it is important to keep the flow of the tanks low. As a result of their plodding swimming style, they are known for being poor hunters, making it important to house these fishes by themselves. Yet, for the hobbyist who would like to deviate from this recommendation, a good alternative is to keep the Half-spined Seahorses in tanks designed as nano-reefs where they live with a small number of non-aggressive and slow moving fishes.

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A Pocket Expert Guide Reef Aquarium Fishes 500+ Essential-To-Know Species Scott W. Michael T.F.H Publications, Inc. 2005