Hippocampus guttulatus, Cuvier 1829

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: 26

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Hippocampus guttulatus


H. guttulatus Cuvier 1829 

English common names. Long-snouted Seahorse, spiny seahorse, maned seahorse.

Synonyms. H. guttulatus multiannularis Ginsburg 1937  , H. hippocampus microcoronatus Slastenenko1938  , H. hippocampus microstephanus Slastenenko 1937  , H. longirostris Schinz 1822  .

Neotype: MNHN-IC 2016-0023.

Type locality. Nice , France. 

Distribution. Azores Islands, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Isle of Man, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, UK, Ukraine.

Notes. The name H. ramulosus  has frequently been used for the European Long-snouted Seahorse, but see Species Inquirenda below. Schinz (1822) proposed the name H. longirostris  (~long-snouted seahorse) for this species in opposition to his H. brevirostris  (~short-snouted seahorse). Hippocampus longirostris  is given here in synonymy despite its earlier date (as in Lourie et al. 1999), following Ginsburg (1937) who called for its suppression and support of H. guttulatus  ‘in accordance with universal usage’. This has been challenged by Vasil’Eva (2007), however, we continue to support Ginsburg’s concept (see also notes under H. hippocampus  ). Hippocampus bicuspis  is similar meristically (Appendix E, and different from the other known species from the region, H. algiricus  ), but it was found far outside the species’ typical range (in Senegal) and is here treated as a Species Inquirendum. Based on genetic data (991bp cyt b and CR, and five microsatellites) there are four distinct subpopulations of H. guttulatus  throughout Europe (Eastern Atlantic, Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea) ( Woodall et al. 2015). The most common mtDNA haplotypes were found in all sampled locations, and the average genetic distance among populations was only 0.65%, supporting the conclusion that this is still a single species even though there is likely no current gene flow between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. That said, even the Black Sea population is only 1.06% different from the furthest population in the Bay of Biscay ( Woodall et al. 2015).