Spotted seahorses now at the Seattle Aquarium


Five spotted seahorses (Hippocampus kuda) are now on display in our Tropical Pacific exhibit! They join our one lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus).

The Seattle Aquarium has traditionally displayed lined seahorses—but we made the decision to switch to spotted seahorses because they’re found in the tropical Pacific (and are thus a good match for the theme of the exhibit), while lined seahorses are native to the Western Atlantic and Caribbean.

Spotted seahorses prefer sea grass habitats in sheltered bays and estuaries. They feed on small invertebrates such as shrimp. This species can be nearly 12 inches in length, but animals often appear shorter due to the way their tail curls up. They are variable in color, despite their alternate common name: yellow seahorse.

Our sole remaining lined seahorse is not the only fish at the Aquarium that mixes with a school of a different species. Look for the following loners in our exhibits the next time you visit!

pile perch

Pile perch with blue striped perch in the Underwater Dome

Look for pile perch’s more deeply forked tail and the dark, vertical bar on the side of this fish’s body. In contrast, the blue striped perch has many thin horizontal stripes.



Yelloweye rockfish with canary rockfish in the Octopus Exhibit

The juvenile yelloweye has a deep red-orange color and two prominent white horizontal stripes, which fade away as the fish matures. Canary rockfish have only one prominent white stripe, along their lateral line.


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