Phycodurus eques ON EXHIBIT:
Seahorse exhibit in River Journey
Leaf-like appendages on the head and body help camouflage this animal. Although its color looks bright in the Aquarium exhibit, its greenish coloration appears dull in its natural habitat. This makes the seadragon resemble a plant. More closely related to pipefish than seahorses, seadragons lack prehensile tails, do not swim vertically, and are larger than seahorses.
Seahorse numbers are in decline worldwide due to unscrupulous fishing practices and overharvesting, mostly for the Chinese medicine trade. In 2004, all seahorse species were listed under the Conservation of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) as appendix II. This means that all trade of seahorses is strictly regulated and size limitations are imposed, ensuring that there is enough breeding activity to sustain the species.