(Pic: Jay Town, Herald Sun)
A rare species of seahorse has been identified at Melbourne Aquarium. Found off the West Coast of Australia in December last year, the five seahorses are believed to be the foreign Tiger Tail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes), which has never before been recorded in Australia.
Recognisable by their black and yellow striped tails, the rare breed of seahorse is traditionally found in southeast Asia.
“Research has shown that water temperatures are rising, which appears to be effecting animal populations and increasingly we are finding animals such as seahorses and Green Sea Turtles migrating to the warmer waters off Australia,” said Exhibit Manager, Alison Edmunds.
“We are currently in the process of confirming the species and excited to have the opportunity to exhibit this animal and educate our visitors further about the amazing seahorse family.”
Currently housing two males and three females, the hope is to successfully breed and contribute to the conservation of the species.
Melbourne Aquarium is also home to the internationally-recognised weedy seadragon breeding program and dedicated Seahorse Breeding Facility.
Melbourne Aquarium visitors can catch a glimpse of the rare seahorses in the Seahorse Pier exhibit.