By Kately Nikiforuk
May’s featured iSeahorse observation is of a great seahorse (Hippocampus kelloggi), submitted by an equally great iSeahorse contributor, Andrew Trevor-Jones! This pic was snagged off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, but the species is also found (if you can spot them, that is - clearly their camouflage skills aren’t too shabby) in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, The Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Great seahorses, also known as Kellogg’s seahorses and offshore seahorses, are one of the five most reported Hippocampus species in international trade and are subjected to both legal and illegal trade. In 2012, it was believed that the great seahorse population had declined at least 30% compared to ten to fifteen years prior and that the trend was predicted to continue. The IUCN red list currently lists H. kelloggi as a vulnerable species.
Dynamite fishing is another threat faced by the great seahorse. This destructive practice involves the use of explosives to stun or kill large quantities of fish, which frequently decimates the surrounding habitat and kills creatures that weren’t the intended targets.
In addition to being an avid iSeahorse contributor, Andrew Trevor-Jones has many other iNaturalist posts worth checking out, including sightings of seahorse relatives like pipefishes, seamoths, ghostfishes and seadragons. He’s also encountered aquatic oddities such as a painted stinkfish, a yellow crested weedfish and an eastern cleaner clingfish.
Originally posted on iSeahorse.org