This Japanese seahorse earns its common name for the tall, backward-curving crown on top of its head, which is coupled with rather unusual, irregular spines projecting out of the body (4). The skin is yellowish, marbled with dark brown, and black along the back. Like other seahorses, the head is held at right angles to the body, the eyes can move independently of each other, and the tail is prehensile. Instead of having scales, as most other fish do, seahorses have a layer of skin stretched over bony plates that are visible as rings passing around the trunk. Swimming is powered by the rapidly oscillating dorsal fin, and they steer using the fins on either side of the body (the pectoral fins) (2).
- Maximum height: 12.7 cm (2)