Seahorses are found all over the world in warm, tropical waters. Many seahorses located in the rich Indo Pacific region have yet to be scientifically described, making this family of Syngnathidae a fascinating and slightly elusive creature.
Most seahorses can be found on shallow reefs or lagoons of varying depths. They also tend to hide in beds of sea grass or sheltered bay areas. Similar in appearance to a pipefish, seahorses are not as straight as pipefish and do not have a caudal fin.
The Common Seahorse (Hippocampus taeniopterus) is a large tropical seahorse species that is known to occur in the Moluccen Seas to Sulawesi and Bali and to the waters of north-eastern Australia. Males usually have drab colouration with striations over the head and small black spots over the trunk. It can be found in sandy embayments generally along the margins of seagrass meadows and they are rarely encountered below 15 metres. Adults are usually found in pairs and females can be yellow with several large dark spots on the trunk. This species is generally referred to as Hippocampus kuda. The Common Seahorse (Hippocampus taeniopterus) grows to a maximum length of approximately 22cm.
All seahorse species (Hippocampus sp) are listed in Appendix II of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which controls and regulates the international trade of seahorses.