Hippocampus jayakari 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Hippocampus jayakari Boulenger, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Jayakar's Seahorse
Taxonomic Source(s): Boulenger, G. A. 1900. Description of a new sea-horse (Hippocampus) from Muscat. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 7) 6(31): 51-52.
Taxonomic Notes: This species is closely related to Hippocampus histrix (Lourie et al. 2016). Molecular work is needed to confirm that this is in fact a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-18
Assessor(s): Kuo, T.-C. & Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Hippocampus jayakari is a coastal seahorse species that inhabits seagrass, algae, and soft-bottom substrates in the northwestern Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. The species may be threatened by seagrass habitat degradation and loss, but the seagrasses in the region that have been associated with H. jayakari have been assessed as Least Concern, and this species is able to utilise other habitat types. The species may be caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries, but levels of offtake are thought to be low. There are no other known threats, therefore this species is listed as Least Concern. Population and trade monitoring are needed to ensure this species does not become threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Hippocampus jayakari occurs in the Western Indian Ocean, in the Red and Arabian seas to the central coast of Pakistan (Lourie et al. 1999).

Countries occurrence:
Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); Israel; Oman; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Lower depth limit (metres):20
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There have been no dedicated field surveys or population estimates for this species. The extent of seagrass degradation in the area is not well understood, however the species inhabits other habitat types.

During Project Seahorse trade surveys conducted between 2000–2001, eight of the 11 fishers surveyed in Pakistan reported a 50% decrease in seahorse catch in 1999, while the remaining three fishers had noticed no change (A. Perry, unpublished data). However, it is unknown how much of this catch, if any, is comprised of H. jayakari. No further studies have been undertaken since that time.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Unknown
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Hippocampus jayakari has been caught at depths of 2–3 m. It is found in beds of seagrasses such Halophila spp. (Lourie et al. 1999). More recently the species has also been found on algae, soft-bottom substrates, sponges, and rocky habitats (Kuiter 2000, Golani and Lerner 2007).

Although no reference specifically describes the prey or feeding behavior of H. jayakari, Hippocampus spp. commonly consume small planktonic crustaceans (Kendrick and Hyndes 2005; Valladares et al. 2016).

All seahorse species display male pregnancy and vital parental care, and many species studied to date are monogamous and have high site fidelity (Perante et al. 2002, Foster and Vincent 2004), highly structured social behaviour (Vincent and Sadler 1995), and relatively sparse distributions (Lourie et al. 1999).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Trade surveys conducted by Project Seahorse between 2000–2001 indicated that the trade of seahorses in Pakistan appears to be relatively small, and is mostly limited to local collection for aquarium use (A. Perry, unpublished data). Israel and Egypt have exported live wild seahorses, though in a relatively small amount (Foster et al. 2016). Egypt reported they exported 171 dried seahorses caught from wild in 2004 (CITES trade database). The size of the trade in this species in Oman, if any, is unknown.

Although the reported exploited volume is small, the degree of domestic use is unclear. It is unknown how much of the seahorse trade observed in the region was comprised of Hippocampus jayakari.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hippocampus jayakari may be threatened as a result of being caught as bycatch (Foster and Vincent 2004) and seagrass habitat degradation and destruction (Short et al. 2011). The species of Halophila present in the region have been assessed as Least Concern (Short et al. 2010a, 2010b), and the species is able to utilise other habitat types.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

All Hippocampus species are listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), meaning that trade is regulated and must be sustainable. Further research is required to establish population size, ecology, and the scope and severity of threats faced by the species.

Citation: Kuo, T.-C. & Pollom, R. 2017. Hippocampus jayakari. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T10074A54145490. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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