Lined Seahorses, Hippocampus Erectus, are now on exhibit in the Beyond Shells living gallery at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.


Lined Seahorses have a wide habitat range including our own backyard in Pine Island Sound. The outer surface of their body is composed of bony plates, a long snout, and a prehensile tail. These tails are like an extra limb that allows the seahorse to grasp onto vegetation or other objects (or even a Queen Conch, as pictured here!) for extra support.


Lined Seahorses are poor swimmers, as they only have one small fin on their back that flutters up to 35 times per second. They use their elongated, toothless snout to create a vacuum that sucks up its food which consists of tiny shrimp. Seahorses also lack a true stomach, which means they must eat large amounts of food to make up for their inefficient digestive system.


Our Lined Seahorses are currently on display with our Queen Conchs and Milk Conch. “These three species can all be found naturally living together in the Florida Keys,” explains Carly Hulse, National Shell Museum Senior Aquarist. “Come view these elegant fish after attending our 11am daily Keeper Chat!”


About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 500,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.