Hippocampus abdominalis Lesson 1827

Sara A. Lourie, Riley A. Pollom & Sarah J. Foster, 2016, A global revision of the Seahorses Hippocampus Rafinesque 1810 (Actinopterygii: Syngnathiformes): Taxonomy and biogeography with recommendations for further research, Zootaxa 4146 (1), pp. 1-66: 13

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Hippocampus abdominalis Lesson 1827


Hippocampus abdominalis Lesson 1827 

English common names. Bigbelly Seahorse, big-belly seahorse, big-bellied seahorse, eastern potbelly seahorse, pot-bellied seahorse, pot-belly seahorse.

Syntypes. MNHN 0000-6090, 0000-9207 (dried).

Type locality. New Zealand. 

Synonyms. H. bleekeri Fowler 1907  , H. agnesae Fowler 1907  , H. graciliformis McCulloch 1911  . Subgenus synonym: Macleayina Fowler 1907  .

Distribution. Australia (southeast), New Zealand.

Notes. H. abdominalis  was first described from New Zealand and there is a question as to whether specimens from Australia represent the same species. Studies that have addressed this question do not support the existence of multiple species based on morphological, meristic, and genetic data (357 bp, cyt b) and show more variation within populations than among populations (Appendix A; Armstrong 2001). There is some genetic divergence between Australian and New Zealand populations (814bp cyt b, 624bp CO1, 404bp CR, plus four microsatellite loci), however, the level of divergence (1.4–1.7%, Nickel & Cursons 2012) is below our 2% threshold adopted for this revision. Divergence within New Zealand is 0.7–2.2% without any clear geographical structure ( Nickel 2009; Nickel & Cursons 2012). The name H. abdominalis  takes precedence with H. agnesae  and H. bleekeri  being treated as synonyms. Hippocampus graciliformis  is a juvenile specimen of H. abdominalis  and therefore is also synonymized.