These unusual animals are small and live in shallow waters amongst seaweeds, mangroves, coral and rocky reefs. They have a short tube-like snout, and a body encased in a series of bony rings. They are poor swimmers, with no ventral or caudal fins, and a prehensile tail that they can coil and attach to marine plants. Males have a specialised brood pouch on the abdomen in which fertilised eggs are laid and nursed.
Although as a group the Seahorses (Hippocampus species) are not officially listed as endangered worldwide they are widely considered to be endangered in many seas because they are harvested for their alleged medicinal properties. Some species are locally threatened as a consequence of unintentional fishing practices, such as by-catch mortalities from prawn trawls, placing additional pressure on survival of local populations. There are 54 species within this genus globally with one species is known only from Hervey Bay to Moreton Bay, Queensland.