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Hippocampus minotaur 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Hippocampus minotaur Gomon, 1997
Common Name(s):
English Bullneck Seahorse
Taxonomic Source(s): Gomon, M.F. 1997. A remarkable new pygmy seahorse (Syngnathidae: Hippocampus) from South-Eastern Australia, with a description of H. bargibanti Whitley from New Caledonia. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56(1): 245–253.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-07-27
Assessor(s): Pollom, R.
Reviewer(s): Ralph, G.
Contributor(s): Pogonoski, J., Pollard, D.A. & Paxton, J.R.
Justification:
Hippocampus minotaur is a small seahorse that is endemic to southeastern Australia and lives at depths of 64-110 m. It may inhabit gorgonian corals. Although it is protected throughout its range, the species may be threatened by coral habitat loss and being taken as bycatch, but further data is needed to confirm this. Further research is needed to determine population size, trends in abundance, and threats for this species. Therefore H. minotaur is listed as Data Deficient.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Hippocampus minotaur occurs on the southeastern Australian coast from Cape Paterson, Victoria to Wollongong, New South Wales. It was described from only four museum specimens collected at depths of 64–110 m (Gomon 1997). Specimens were collected between circa 1927 and 1981 (Pogonoski et al. 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Australia (New South Wales, Victoria)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
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):110
Upper depth limit (metres):64
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:To date there have been no dedicated surveys or population estimates for Hippocampus minotaur. Further research is needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance for this species.
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 minotaur has been trawled from depths of 64 to 110 m on fine sandy or hard bottoms, possibly in association with gorgonian corals (Gomon 1997). Noticeable bud-like processes are present on the dorsal surface of the tail of H. minotaur, reminiscent of those on the body of H. bargibanti that are used for camouflage in soft coral fans. This may suggest that they inhabit gorgonians, but collection information to date has given scant habitat information (Gomon 1997). Little is known about their diet, but other seahorses typically prey on small crustaceans such as mysids, caridean shrimp, copepods, amphipods, and gammarids (Woods 2002, Kitsos et al. 2008).  Their reproductive biology is also unknown, but other seahorses are ovoviviparous, and males brood embryos in a pouch prior to giving live birth (Foster and Vincent 2004).
Systems:Marine
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species has not been recorded in trade, but other seahorses are traded heavily globally for traditional medicines, curios, and aquarium use (Vincent et al. 2011).  Some illegal trade occurs in Australia, but levels are low compared to other regions (Martin-Smith and Vincent 2006). This species may be involved but likely at low levels.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are unknown. It may be suffering from coral reef habitat loss as a result of climate change and destructive fishing practices such as trawling. The species may also be caught as bycatch in trawls, but levels of offtake, if any, are unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Hippocampus minotaur. The species is listed on CITES Appendix II along with all other seahorses, and are protected by the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act along with all other synganthids.

Citation: Pollom, R. 2017. Hippocampus minotaur. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T10077A54906067. . Downloaded on 18 January 2018.
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