A case of mistaken identity: skin filaments are unreliable for identifying Hippocampus guttulatus and Hippocampus hippocampus

The presence or absence of skin filaments is an unreliable character for identifying European seahorses. Growth of skin filaments on Hippocampus guttulatus coincides with maturation, while presence on Hippocampus hippocampus is highly variable. Multiple morphological traits including snout, head and trunk shape should be used for identification.

Curtis, J.M.R., 2006. A case of mistaken identity: skin filaments are unreliable for identifying Hippocampus guttulatus and Hippocampus hippocampusJournal of Fish Biology 69(6):1855-1859. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01228.x