How Many Species of Seahorses Are There? [Right Facts]

There are 47 different seahorse species throughout the entire world. Of those 47 species, 14 species alone were discovered between the last 8 years or so. Even though more species are closely related to one another, genetic research has allowed for clarifying species count and the number is 47 now.

When we talk about seahorses, we get pictures of unique species in the water bodies. Besides that, seahorses are known for love, and fortune and have always been portrayed as beauty symbols from ocean life.

Indeed, seahorses are beautiful animals and if you start researching them, you’d be wanting more and more. 

From these species, there is a lot to know. And, that is why we will elaborate on everything there is to know about seahorses in this article. 

That is why sit back and start reading the rest of this informative piece-

How Many Seahorse Species in the Entire World? 

As I said before in the previous segment, there are about 47 different seahorse species. Now, in this part, we’ll dive deep into learning about those species. 

Here, we’ll learn about the most extreme species of seahorses and we’ll even learn about the rarest of them all. It’s a bit tough to identify their different species because of their camouflage. But, still, let’s begin-

Largest Seahorse Species- “Big-Belly Seahorse”

Let’s take a look at the big-belly seahorses. Yes, the Big-Belly Seahorses come with a length of 35cm and are the largest seahorses in the entire world. 

These species are found in the waters around New Zealand, and Southeastern Australia. In these places, they inhabit coaster bays and harbours. They can be spotted and identified easily due to their large size and belly.

Plus, they are greyish-yellow, brown, and orange-white in color with darker spots throughout their body. This coloring of their body makes it easier to blend with weeds and seagrasses hence making camouflage even easier.

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Amidst their diet, they feed on smaller crustaceans like Amphipods. As they are larger in size, crabs, rays, and octopus hunt them easily. 

Smallest Seahorse Species- “Satomi’s Pygmy Seahorse”

This one here is the smallest seahorse species in the world- “Satomi’s Pygmy Seahorse”. The seahorse has a height of approximately 11.5 millimeters. 

The overall length of this seahorse is just 13.8 mm. which is slightly more than a grain of rice. Yes, it is that small. The species was described in 2008 and was named by Miss Satomi Onishi, who collected their specimens.

Now, these species are found in the Indonesian localities of Derawan Island, Raja Ampat, and Kalimantan. 

One fact about these species is that they are extremely hard to identify and find. On top of having a smaller size, they remain camouflaged for a while. Hence, making them a hard catch, all the time. 

Also See: How Long Can Seahorses Go Without Food?

But, you can identify them by observing a smaller black dot between their snout and their eye. Also of their smaller size. This seahorse even has a marking on the tail, chin, and back of its body. 

Most Common Seahorse Species- “Yellow Seahorse”

There is a high chance that even you might have come across a Yellow Seahorse in your entire life. After all, they are the most common species there is! This species inhabits areas across 23 different countries. Yes, it is that common. 

Out of those countries, the seahorse is more common in New Guinea and Indonesia. Besides, it will be found in waters from Southeast Asia, Pakistan, Southern Japan, and even the Persian Gulf. 

Moreover, they are common even in Hawaii and on some Pacific Islands. There are some varieties of this species. They reside outside of the Indo-Pacific regions.

Even though seahorses are known to be “Yellow-Colored”, they have a variety of colors. Here, the females will have darker and yellowish spots on their bodies. On the other hand, the males have dark greyish spots on their bodies.

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Compared to the other species, they have smooth bodies without any spines or thicker snouts. 

Rarest Seahorse Species– “Knysna Seahorse”

Let’s begin the list with the rarest endangered seahorse species. The “KNYSNA SEAHORSE” is just 4.7 inches (12 cm) and they are found on three fragments on the “South Coast of South Africa”.

Normally, the “KNYSNA SEAHORSE” is found on the Southern Coast where it inhabits the eelgrass shallow beds. Inside the South African waters, this species is one of the top 5 most popular species of all time. That’s why they have a huge demand. 

But, there is one thing you should know- these species were threatened with extinction for a while now. Here, the main causes of their extinction were poaching, disturbance, and even pollution. That is why they are protected by law. 

Best Looking Seahorse Species- “Zebra Seahorse”

The Zebra Seahorses are one of the best-looking seahorses out there. From the name you can guess that this seahorse has zebra stripes and bands throughout their body and head. They even have yellowish tips on their spines.

Here, the species was described first in 1964 and are found in Papua New Guinea, northern Australia, and Indonesia. The species reside around coral reefs and inshore and can be found on muddy bottoms and sandy surfaces as well.

Strangest Looking Seahorse Species- “Leafy Seadragon” 

When we say strange looking, we are really not exaggerating about the shape and design of “Leafy Seadragon”. Like it’s named after seadragons. So, take it worth to that. 

Also See: Are Seahorses Cold Blooded?- A Biological Explanation

From their name, the “Leafy Seadragons” are known to have leaves attached to their bodies. Here, they get the added advantage of having these leaf-shaped appendages around their bodies. 

Because these appendages make it easier for them to have a better camouflage. For moving, these species use their pectoral fin, dorsal and two fins. These fins are so thin that they almost look transparent to the naked eye.

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These species are found around Southern Australia on the west of Jurien Bay and north of Perth, Western Australia. They usually inhabit temperate waters upto 50 ft. deep. An interesting fact about them is that they move extremely slowly (almost 200min an hour).

Most Prickly Seahorses- “Longspine Seahorse

These species have dark-tipped spines on the surface of their entire body. Hence, they are easily recognizable. Plus, due to having a longer snout, they can be found easily. 

But, the species are found in deeper water and they reside around seagrass beds and on softer corals. They live around Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Japan, and Australia. 

Most Camouflaged Seahorse Species- “Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse”

This species is one of the hardest to find due to having flawless camouflage ability. They were discovered in 1969 and they aren’t too large in size. 

Also, this species is tough to find among the gorgonian coral due to their camouflage ability and they inhabit those places for their lives.

The adult seahorses move in pairs or in clusters. Here, even 28 seahorses are found on one gorgonian coral. Plus, they reside on depths upto 131 feet. 

This species is found in Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Northern Australia, Fiji, and even the Solomon Islands.


Now, you will know how many species of seahorses are there in this world. We’ve given you the exact number of how many species there! But, it’s not really possible to explain all 47 different species. 

That is why we’ve explained the most exciting species of seahorses in the world. Reading them you’ll easily know a thing or two about seahorses, in general. 

That is it, adios! 

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