Fin-tastic Facts About The Lined Seahorse For Kids

Lined seahorse facts that are interesting and amusing for everyone.

The lined seahorses are US native species of seahorses that range from Nova, Scotia, Canada, Northern Gulf of Mexico all the way to Venezuela and Panama. They are also known as the spotted or Northern seahorse. Many hobbyists consider it the most attractive of all seahorses. They are the only seahorse that lives in Chesapeake bay, and they are poor swimmers who rely on their camouflage ability to hide from predators. The lined seahorses prey by changing colors to match its surrounding, and since they can't swim and chase their food, they suck it up through their snouts like a vacuum.

The lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) are a large species of seahorses, and like any other seahorse, the male carries the young to incubate them in his brood pouch. The average age at which the male and female reproductivity maturity begins is 273 days. These aquatic species swim weakly, and when moving from one perch to another, they are so slow that it would take about five minutes to cross a bathtub. Basically, they float, not swim, and due to this many of them are unable to escape from predators quickly, or migrate when the water temperature increases.

To know more about other aquatic species, you may also want to check out angelfish and seahorses.

Lined Seahorse

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Brine shrimp, crustaceans, fish larvae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

260-1000 eggs

How much do they weigh?

7 oz

How long are they?

Up to 7 in (17 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, brown, yellow, black

Skin Type

Tight skin

What are their main threats?

Climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, overfishing

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Seagrass, coral reefs, mangroves, tropical and temperate saltwater


Pacific waters, from North America to South America





Scientific Name

Hippocampus erectus





Lined Seahorse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Lined Seahorse?

A lined seahorse is a type of fish, which is closely related to the pipefish as they belong to the same family Syngnathidae.

What class of animal does a Lined Seahorse belong to?

These fish species belong to the Actinopterygii class of animals.

How many Lined Seahorse are there in the world?

The total population of seahorse (lined) is unknown, but their presence is decreasing due to certain factors.

Where does a Lined Seahorse live?

Lined seahorses live in the ocean, tropical, and temperate saltwater, among the coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves, and marine vegetation. They are mostly found in Nova, Scotia, and the Pacific or Atlantic deeper waters to stay away from predators. Some are also kept and raised in an aquarium at home.

What is a Lined Seahorse's habitat?

The habitat of these fish species is strictly marine and found in seaweed, and on coral reefs at depths of up to 200 m. Adults may associate with vegetation or swimming freely in midwater, while the juvenile and newborn may tend to swim close to the water surface. During winter, they move into deeper waters. In the Western Atlantic Ocean and East Coast of the United States, they are known to inhibit wide habitats.

Who does Lined Seahorse live with?

The lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) stays in groups of up to 20 adults, and while breeding they stay in pairs.

How long does a Lined Seahorse live?

The northern seahorse has a lifespan range of one to four years. They mature within 300 days and have a short lifespan range compared to other fish species.

How do they reproduce?

Lines seahorses mate with a single mate or partner for an entire season or even lifetime. The reproduction of this fish occurs sexually through internal fertilization and spawns every season. Male seahorses have an incubation pocket, which is similar to the pouch of a marsupial mammal, on its lower tail with an opening that can be closed. During the courtship, the female sea horse spray between 250-1000 eggs into the male brood pouch for incubation for 20-21 days. Even after hatching, the free embryos are carried in the pouch until they are capable of swimming. When it is time for birth, the male holds fast to an object or plant step while bending rapidly, backward and forward where the pouch opens and baby seahorse pops out, and the jerking motions of the male continue until the pouch is emptied.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is Vulnerable. They prefer temperate waters to survive, but due to climate change and overfishing by humans, their population has been declining. These aquatic species are commonly traded for traditional Chinese medicine, aquarium trade, and ornamental display, which has attributed to their decline.

Lined Seahorse Fun Facts

What does Lined Seahorse look like?

These seahorses are large and hardy lined aquatic species, which are deep-chested and robust, and instead of scales, they have acquired a skin stretched tightly, and a prehensile tail following the bony plates, and a series of rings on their body. They have a spineless dorsal fin and lack teeth. The basic color of this sea horse varies from gray, brown, yellow and red, to black, and the body has a pattern of white lines following the neck contour, from which it got its name 'lined seahorse'. They use their tail to grasp objects and hunt for prey.

The male seahorses carry and give birth to their young.

How cute are they?

They are small and cute, and their peaceful nature makes it amusing to watch them or even have one of them as a pet.

How do they communicate?

The means of communication between sea horses are unidentified.

How big is a Lined Seahorse?

These animals are one of the smallest among the other fishes present in the ocean.

How fast can a Lined Seahorse swim?

A lined seahorse is a slow and weak swimmer, who can only move up to certain inches in several seconds.

How much does a Lined Seahorse weigh?

Normally, they weigh around 7 oz.

What are their male and female names of the species?

No specific names have been used to describe the male and female seahorses.

What would you call a baby Lined Seahorse?

Baby seahorses are called fry.

What do they eat?

The lined seahorse diet generally includes shrimp, small crustaceans, fish larvae, and small fishes.

Are they aggressive?

The lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is a calm and peaceful creature of the sea and has no traits of aggressive behavior.

Would they make a good pet?

Many people have these seahorses in their aquarium since they fit well and look attractive too. Their friendly nature with calm sense makes them an ideal pet.

Did you know...

These seahorses can expand their snout if their prey is larger than their snout.

During the birth of seahorses, one complication is that some of the unhatched may die within the pouch, which soon results in the formation of gas, and the male bloats like a balloon that is quickly buoyed to the surface, where he is picked off by hungry predators.

What conservative efforts are being taken by society to save Lined Seahorses?

WSO's Friend of the Sea Project is already taking initiatives to preserve the seahorses for sustainable aquaculture. Their initiatives include liaising with aquaculture, industrial sector to remind them to follow eco-friendly policies, organizing various webinars, and launching awareness campaigns among many groups of people or society. It is believed that fishing limits and action towards climate change may help the species population to be stable.

How many types of Lined Seahorses are there?

There are approximately 47 recognized species of the northern seahorse.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including rainbow cichlid, or three spot gourami.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Lined Seahorse coloring pages.



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