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Hippocampus subelongatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII SYNGNATHIFORMES SYNGNATHIDAE

Scientific Name: Hippocampus subelongatus
Species Authority: Castelnau, 1873
Common Name/s:
English Tiger Snout Seahorse, West Australian Seahorse
Synonym/s:
Hippocampus angustus Günther, 1870
Taxonomic Notes: The 1996 and 2000 IUCN Red Lists included H. angustus. This was a misidentification and should actually have referred to H. subelongatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2002
Date Assessed: 2002-01-01
Annotations:
Needs updating
Assessor/s: Project Seahorse
Reviewer/s: Lafrance, P., Lourie, S., Marsden, D. & Vincent, A.C.J. (Syngnathid Red List Authority)
Justification:
H. subelongatus is collected for the aquarium trade, but the effects of this collection on the persistence of the population is debated. Glenn Moore (cited in Lourie et al. 1999) reported that numbers recently declined substantially in the Swan River near Perth due to over-collecting for aquaria. However, Kuiter (2000) believes that the number of specimens collected for the aquarium trade is "minuscule compared to the wild population" and that fluctuation in the Swan River is due to seasonal conditions and not to collecting.

Recent research on H. subelongatus focuses mainly on reproductive behaviour (Jones et al. 1998, Kvarnemo et al. 2000) and aquaculture (Payne and Rippingale 2000). Appropriate data on distribution and abundance in the wild, and on fishing mortality, are not yet available. Further research is needed in order to evaluate the status of the species.

In addition to exploitation for the aquarium trade, habitat degeneration is a potential threat to the species.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: H. subelongatus is known from Freemantle, Perth, Swan River, and Houtman Abrolhos Islands in Western Australia (Lourie et al. 1999).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Data are not currently available on wild populations.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is found on the edge of rocky areas, muddy bottoms, and areas of high sediment load; jetty piles and mooring; and it is often associated with sponges or sea squirts or attached to man-made objects. They have been reported to occur at depths of 1 to 25 m and to move to deeper waters in winter (Lourie et al. 1999).

This species may be particularly susceptible to decline. All seahorse species have vital parental care and many species studied to date have high site fidelity (Perante et al. 2002, Vincent et al. in review), highly structured social behaviour (Vincent and Sadler 1995), and relatively sparse distributions (Lourie et al. 1999). The importance of life history parameters in determining response to exploitation has been demonstrated for a number of species (Jennings et al. 1998).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): H. subelongatus is collected for the aquarium trade, but the effects of this collection on the persistence of populations is debated. In addition to exploitation for the aquarium trade, habitat degeneration is a potential threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species was moved under the Australian Wildlife Protection Act in 1998. Further research on this species is needed. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
Citation: Project Seahorse 2002. Hippocampus subelongatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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