Sexing Seahorses

By Clare Driscoll

On adult seahorses, determining the sex of an individual is as simple as determining the presence or absence of a brood pouch. The pouch is located only on males, and can be found in the lower front of the abdomen, right below the anal fin. This pouch gives the front of the male's abdomen a gentle sloping silhouette from the lower chest to the tail.

The abdomen of the female joins the tail at a sharper angle than that of the male, as seen on these two  H.erectus.

The female does not have a brood pouch, so her abdomen joins the tail at a sharper angle. Because of its position at the "corner" of this angle, the anal fin of the female is often easier to see than that of the male.

The male's pouch tapers from the anal fin to the tail.


Most recent revision: January 12, 2004

Copyright 2004
Clare Driscoll &
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Seahorse fact: Seahorses do not need to eat all day.
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