Two new pygmy seahorses (Teleostei: Syngnathidae: Hippocampus) from the Indo-West Pacific

Martin F. Gomon and Rudie H. Kuiter

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 37-44, Volume 15, Issue 1 – 15 January 2009


Two new pygmy species of the syngnathid genus Hippocampus are described, each from a single specimen. An apparent Red Sea endemic, H. debelius n. sp., the larger of the two, is easily separated from other pygmy seahorses by the long spine-like processes on its head, trunk and tail, separate gill openings and the presence of an external tail pouch in males for brooding the young. The second, H. waleananus n. sp., known only from Sulawesi, has a more rounded trunk, at least in one of the sexes, similar to that of H. colemani Kuiter, 2003, H. pontohi Lourie & Kuiter, 2008, H. severnsi Lourie & Kuiter, 2008 and H. satomiae Lourie & Kuiter 2008, and like those species, has short, often tubercular spines, where present. It differs from H. bargibanti Whitley, 1970 in having 12 dorsal fin rays (versus 14) and nine pectoral fin rays (versus 10 or 11) and from the others in having a long tail with 32 rings (versus 26-31).

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