Species Overview

Cape Seahorse (H. capensis)
Knysna seahorse

Essential Facts

South Africa
Typically found at 0.5 to 20 metre depth in estuarine habitats.
Maximum height of 5 cm at sexual maturity; average length of 1.1 cm at birth.
Development and tourism of South Africa’s Knysna Estuary; freshwater floods.
Endangered (EN)
The Cape seahorse has the smallest known range of any seahorse.

Cape Seahorse (H. capensis)

Knysna seahorse. Photo by Tracy Meintjes.

South Africa’s endemic Cape seahorse, Hippocampus capensis, is a rare example of a marine fish listed as Endangered by the IUCN because of its limited range and habitat vulnerability. It is restricted to four estuaries on the southern coast of South Africa.