Jan 17, 2011

"Pinto" Seahorses

ORA® recently posted a blog on their new site about a "Pinto" mutation seahorse they have been selectively breeding. "Pinto" is a type of piebald color mutation that occurs in Hippocampus erectus seahorses and is easily one of the most highly sought after seahorses in the United States.

This mutation first occurred over ten years ago at Ocean Rider in Hawaii who was selling them for $950 EACH. Within the past couple years this mutation also occurred spontaneously at the Seahorse Corral aquaculture facility in Florida. Originally, they didn't charge extra for the "pinto" type seahorses, but when demand exceeded supply, they raised the price to $160 each.

ORA® mentions in their blog that the "pintos" may not keep their coloration. The Seahorse Corral "pintos" have also been known to lose their unusual coloration. Not much is known about the Ocean Rider Pintos. I suspect that not many have been sold over the years to preserve their purported rarity. Hopefully ORA® will produce large quantities of this color form so hobbyists have better access to them.

As a side note, Seahorse Corral was not allowed to market their seahorses as "pintos," because Ocean Rider has sole rights to that name. I'm unsure at this point if ORA® will be able to market theirs as "pintos" or if they will have to come up with a new catchy name for them.


  1. A quick check of the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office website shows that Ocean Rider holds a Trademark on the name "Ocean Rider" only. They used to have a trademark on "Mustang", but they let it expire in 2009. No trademark on "Pinto" or "Pintos" (nsor many of the other names they claim are registered trademarks on their website) appear to be held by them.

  2. Thanks for checking into that, Jim, maybe seahorse corral can change the name of theirs.