A Fish Called Seahorse


This month’s greatest tidal ranges, or spring tides, occurred over the past weekend and Monday, coinciding with a new moon, strong winds and big surf. High tides worked their way up onto the lower faces of some of our oceanfront dunes, staining the light-colored sand with a broad swathe of green algae and leaving a skirt of frothy sea foam just below the beachgrass.

These conditions often result in the deposit of some unusual items on the beachfront, and on Sunday’s piping plover survey at Hither Hills State Park, seahorses got our attention … once we finished noting plover tracks and nest scrapes, of course.

The first time that I found one of these strange, exotic-looking creatures among the beach wrack, I was surprised to learn that it is native to this area. I rarely find them on the beach, and I have never captured one in a seine. The species we have here is the lined seahorse (

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