Found from NSW around to SA including Tasmania and New Zealand.
Maximum length 25-30cm.
Maximum depth 12m.
Largest and most common seahorse in southern Australia.
Males incubate eggs in pouch.
The male and female begin courting behaviour by the male inflating his pouch with water and parading before the female. The bigger the pouch the more attractive he is, and the more offspring she thinks he will be able to nurture.
They will bond for three to four days before completing the mating dance together.
As they approach the surface of the tank the female will face the male and sit above his pouch. She will tickle the males pouch with a tiny fin located under her abdomen, this will encourage him to open the hole at the top of the pouch and then she will deposit her eggs into the pouch.
It was once thought that the pouch is flooded with sperm to fertilise the eggs but recent studies suggest the male fertilises the eggs on the way into the pouch.
Gestation is approximately 30 days with birth rates depending on the male pouch size. 200 to 600 is quite common. Record birth is 1116!
Babies are typically born at night to protect them from predators and other hungry seahorses in the colony.