The large-bellied seahorse, (Hippocampus abdominalis), is one of the largest seahorse
species, growing up to 35 centimetres. It is widespread around New Zealand. Maori
know it as manaia. Seahorses are often found around seaweed, using their prehensile
tail to grip. They can swim, but rather slowly, using their pectoral fins on the
side of their heads. Shape and colouring help to camouflage seahorses from predators
and also allow them to ambush prey – mainly small crustaceans. Males carry the developing
eggs and very small young in a special abdominal pouch.