Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Brazilian Journa of Biology
The reproductive and feeding biology of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, was studied inChesapeake Bay. Seahorses are monogamous, and males incubate the eggs received from femalesin a closed brood pouch (= marsupium). Females do not play any parental care after mating. Totalsex ratio and the operational sex ratio was strongly skewed toward females. Males and females hadsimilar number of eggs/embryos and hydrated oocytes, respectively. The number of eggs/embryosfound in the male brood pouch varied from 97 to 1,552 (fish from 80 to 126 mm TL), whereas thenumber of hydrated oocytes in female varied from 90 to 1,313 (fish from 60 to 123 mm TL). Both,the number of eggs/embryos and hydrated oocytes were better linearly correlated to total weight thanto total length. The small snout and mouth size limits the feeding of the lined seahorse to small preysize. Amphypods were the predominant food items found in the guts, especially Ampithoe longimana,Gammarus mucronatus, and Caprella penantis. The lined seahorse is not abundant in ChesapeakeBay, but keeps a breeding population which is probably brought inside the bay by currents on driftingvegetation. Chances to find a partner may be difficult because of its low abundance, due to turbidwaters, and its sedentary behavior.
parental care, fecundity, fertility, amphipods, estuary
Teixeira, R. L. and Musick, John A., Reproduction and food habits of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus (Teleostei: Syngnathidae) of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. (2001). Brazilian Journa of Biology, 61(1), 79-90.