seahorse #15, front view, H. abdominalis [134K]

This male pot-bellied seahorse seems to have a coloration scheme like a giraffe. Unlike many other seahorses, potbellies seem to have smooth, waxy skin, without the deep pores or rough texture characteristic of some species. Many casual observers seeing a group of potbellies think they must be all be pregnant males. The bloated appearance is normal for both the male and female, though mature males have a prominent, usually white brood pouch, and more dark blotches.  A brood may number from an average of about 300 to as many as 700 offspring. Gestation varies with temperature, but averages around 28 days.

Identification: Hippocampus abdominalis