Dwarf Seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae)

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Dwarf Seahorse

Hippocampus zosterae

38 Litres (10 US G.)

4-5 cm (1.6-2")


8.1 - 8.4

22.2-25.6°C (72 -78 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods

1-2 years



This animal is available captive bred

Additional names

Dwarf Seahorse, Pygmy Seahorse

Additional scientific names

Hippocampus regulus, Hippocampus rosamondae


Occurs in Bermuda, the Caribbean, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico.


The males have pouches on their abdomen. The females do not.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Because of their small size, and slow eating habits they are best kept without other species of fish. They can be kept with non-aggressive snails.


They will usually only take live food. Copepods and brine shrimp are their staple.

Feeding regime[edit]

Twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Usually kept in small tanks, so that they do not miss the live food they are fed. In the wild they are found in shallow beds of seagrass, which serves as a hitching post. Real or artificial plants or macroalgae serve the same purpose in the aquarium.


They are peaceful fish. Often hitched to small plants in their tank. They wait for their food to swim by them. They are not aggressive. They have interesting courtship dances and social behaviour.


They are easily identified by their small size, as well as by amount of body rings (9 or 10) and dorsal fin rays (12). This Seahorse's common name could be used for other small species of Seahorse, but this species is on of the smallest at around 2.5cm (1") total length in adult males.
Dwarf seahorses look similar to other common seahorse species. They have cirri, for camouflage, but these usually disappear when kept in the aquarium. Their colouration varies from beige to yellow to green to black to mottled, and they are capable of colour change like a chameleon.


External links[edit]