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any one fish of the genus Hippocampus of the family Syngnathidae of the order Lophobranchii. The body, which resembles the knight in chess, is 4–20 cm long. There are approximately 30 species, distributed in temperate and tropical seas. Sea horses live near the shore in thickets of aquatic grasses and algae and among coral. Two species are found in the seas of the USSR: Hippocampus guttulatus microstephanus, which lives in the Black and Azov seas, and H. japonicus, which is encountered in the Sea of Japan. Sea horses feed primarily on small planktonic crustaceans. Members of other closely related genera are sometimes called sea horses.
REFERENCESNikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 1. Moscow, 1971.