June 26th, 2008
There have been reports of a number of seahorses sighted during dives in Dorset. The Seahorses are of species Hippocampus hippocampus and Hippocampus guttulatus. Many of the seahorses present were pregnant.
Hippocampus hippocampus, otherwise known as the short-snouted seahorse can reach about 15cm in length but has a short and fat body shape. It has a short snout, hence its name, that is less than one third of the length of its head. Hippocampus hippocampus has a spine above each eye and bony tubercles on its body that give the seahorse a rather knobbly appearance. Hippocampus hippocampus varies in colour from brown to orange, purple or black and is one of two main species of seahorse found in the UK.
The long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus, also called the spiny seahorse, grows to about 15cm in length. Like the short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus), it has bony tubercles that give the body a knobbly appearance. This seahorse also has fleshy protuberances on the back of its neck which gives the appearance of a mane. Hippocampus guttulatus is green-yellow to reddish-brown in colour, often with bluish-white spots and flecks.
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Added by Rachelle Long