Journal archives for August 2015

August 31, 2015

Featured observation: Japanese seahorse by Richard Smith

We wrap up the summer with another seahorse observed in Japanese waters. Richard Smith (Richis2000) was on a dive trip to an area southwest of Tokyo where he spotted this Japanese seahorse (Hippocampus mohnikei).

Japan tends to be the furthest north that seahorses of any species are found in the Pacific. Further north colder waters and prevailing currents keep seahorses from establishing resident populations. Seahorses in Japan include this species and several others, namely Hippocampus sindonis, H. coronatus, H. trimaculatus, H. bargibanti H. kuda, H. kelloggi, and H. histrix. This wide range of species makes Japan a hotspot for seahorse species diversity, likely only surpassed by the Coral Triangle area further to the south.

The Japanese seahorse is substantially smaller than many seahorses, though still larger than the pygmies. Very little is known about the species, and therefore it is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Observations like this one from Richard help us better understand ranges and habitat use, and therefore enable us to properly assess the conservation status of the species.

Thanks Richard!

Posted on August 31, 2015 10:58 PM by projectseahorse projectseahorse | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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