How Many Seahorse Species?

Preview A Pontoh pygmy seahorse
(Patrick Decaluwe / Guylian Seahorses of the World 2010, Courtesy of Project Seahorse.)

There are 47 different species of seahorses and 14 of those were discovered in the last eight years, including Pontoh's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus pontohi), which was officially named in 2008. Seahorses’ ability to change their color and shape to blend in with their environment makes identification of individual species challenging. Because of this, some researchers previously thought there were as many as 200 seahorse species in the world, while others thought there were as few as 20. However, advances in genetic research are helping to clarify some of the differences between closely related species. Read more facts you never knew about seahorses.