Small fish with horselike heads bent sharply downward and curled tails; swim in upright position; SYN. sea horse.
Any marine fish of several related genera, especially Hippocampus, of the family Syngnathidae, which includes the pipefishes. The body is small and compressed and covered with bony plates raised into tubercles or spines. The tail is prehensile, and the tubular mouth sucks in small shellfish and larvae as food.
The head and foreparts, usually carried upright, resemble those of a horse.
Unusually for fish, sea horses have a relatively long courtship, from 3–7 days. The female deposits her eggs, from dozens to hundreds, in a special pouch in the male and the male later releases and rears the young fish.