You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Dwarf Seahorse

Dwarf seahorse

Hippocampus zosterae

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Species Type:


Common Name(s):

Dwarf seahorse


Dwarf seahorses only grow to be about 1.0 inch (2.5 centimeters) long.


Without a digestive system or teeth, dwarf seahorses swallow their prey, usually small crustaceans, whole.

Range & Habitat:

Found along the Caribbean, Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico, dwarf seashores like to live in coral reefs, mangroves, and any other ecosystem with a high volume of seagrass present.


Masters of disguise, dwarf seahorses can change the color of their skin to blend in with their surroundings. This is particularly helpful when hiding from predators and prey. They also change colors for social reasons, like defending their territory or courting a mate. Dwarf seahorses like to live in shallow coastal waters, but can sometimes be found in other aquatic environments with high salinity levels, like bays. These tiny seahorses maintain monogamous relationships with their mate and start each day with a greeting ritual. When it comes to breeding, dwarf seahorses are unlike most other species. Males carry and lay the eggs, three to 16 at a time. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, dwarf seahorses are listed as Least Concern.