Lined Seahorse – Profile | Aquarium | Diet | Breeding | Facts

Lined seahorse
(Last Updated On: April 25, 2021)

The lined seahorse, scientific name Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse or spotted seahorse, is a species of fish that belongs to the family Syngnathidae. Lined Seahorse is a diurnal species with an approximate size of 15 cm (5.9 inches) and a lifespan of 1 to 4 years.

Lined Seahorse profile

The Lined Seahorse species may be present in myriad colors, from greys and blacks to reds, greens, and oranges. The lined seahorse lives within the western Atlantic Ocean as far north as Canada and as far south because of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Venezuela. It swims in an erect place and makes use of its dorsal and pectoral fins for steerage whereas swimming.

The Lined Seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, is a big colorful fish that many hobbyists contemplate essentially the most engaging of all of the seahorses.

They inhabit a large range of habitats within the Western Atlantic Ocean on the East coast of the United States. The coloration of those Captive-Bred seahorses ranges from shades of black to grey to brown. Their coloration could change within the aquarium and is extremely dependent on the colors of its environment.

Lined seahorses feed primarily on minute crustaceans and brine shrimp, which they suck in via their snout. They are in a position to suck their prey by making a presence of water main immediately into its snout. Since seahorses are weak swimmers, they have to ambush their prey by mixing into their environment, which they do fairly simply.

The lined seahorse’s eyes can transfer independently of each other, permitting it to successfully scan its environment. The species is sexually dimorphic and it’s straightforward to tell apart between a female and male lined seahorse.

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

The males are bigger and still have longer tails. The lined seahorse is monogamous and performs ritual dances each morning to reestablish the bond with its mate.

In addition, they create clicking sounds whereas embracing their partner. This action happens after they initially discover their mate.

The depth of their bond can also be conveyed in how they deal with the death of their partner: If both the male or feminine ought to die, the mate doesn’t robotically change the deceased mate with a brand new one. Often, it fails to discover a new mate in its brief lifespan.

Like with different seahorses, the male-lined seahorse is the caregiver. During intercourse, the feminine sprays her eggs into the male’s brood pouch the place the eggs will incubate for 20–21 days.

When the juveniles are able to hatch, the male attaches its tail to a stationary structure and begins to arch its back, back, and forth, releasing the juveniles into the water column.

The juveniles are roughly 11 mm at birth. They rapidly start to study and mimic the behavior of its parent. The courtship between the female and male parents starts instantly after birth.

The Lined Seahorse, together with a number of species within the genus Hippocampus, is likely one of the most uncommon in the look of all fishes. Its upright place, horse-like headset at right angles to the body, and jointed armor make it resemble a knight in a chess set.

The Lined Seahorse has a prehensile tail, which it makes use of to carry onto seaweed and coral. The scales have been changed by rings of about 50 rectangular bony plates, encasing the body in a semi-rigid skeleton.

The eyes can swivel independently or converge to realize the binocular vision. The most distinguishing function between the male and the feminine seahorse is the kangaroo-like pouch that the male has on its ventral facet, used for reproduction.

Hippocampus erectus is a big species of seahorse, rising as much as 5 inches long. Lined Seahorse is well separated from different species of seahorse by a pattern of darkish traces on a lighter background in its coloring. Lined Seahorse additionally has 18 to 21 dorsal-fin rays.

The habitat of the lined seahorse is diminishing on account of coastal growth and air pollution, which finally is the reason for the reducing inhabitants.

The lined seahorse can also be used as Chinese medication and is frequent within the aquarium commerce, contributing to its “vulnerable” standing.

It does finest when stored as both a mated pair or with a small group of its personal variety in a species-only aquarium of 30 gallons or bigger.

The taller the aquarium, the higher, at the very least 16 inches high is finest, nearly as good circulation is most vital.

It will get alongside properly with small, shy fish similar to gobies, and firefish. But aggressive, territorial fish, or fast-moving fish don’t make good companions.

When able to mate, the male Lined Seahorse will impress the feminine with its dramatic coloration modifications, energetic pouch shows, and much sleek dancing.

If receptive, the longer-term mate will entwine tails, dance, and promenade with it, after which deposit as many as 600 eggs within the male pouch. About 14 days later, the male will give birth between 50-400 good miniature replicas of the pair.

Fast, aggressive fish will out-compete the Lined Seahorse for meals. When first launched into the aquarium, live saltwater feeder shrimp ought to be used to entice this fish to eat.

These Captive-Bred Seahorses are accustomed to frozen mysis shrimp, making them a sensible different to their wild-caught counterparts. They may also feed upon amphipods, and different small crustaceans present in live rock.

They may also settle for vitamin-enriched adult brine shrimp, however shouldn’t make up a majority of their diet. They are sluggish, deliberate feeders and like two or more small feedings per day.

Seahorses spend most of their time clinging to seagrass with their prehensile tail fairly than swimming. Its many uncommon options and habits make it maybe essentially the most spectacular fish that could be stored within the house aquarium.

Lined Seahorse Habitat and distribution

The lined seahorse range spans from the northern level of Nova Scotia, Canada, to the southern space of Venezuela in South America. They may be discovered on the east coast of America in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina, in addition to within the waters surrounding Mexico and the Caribbean. Species present in Brazil appear to be of a special species; nonetheless, more analysis is required to find out this proposal.

The lined seahorse is native to the next areas: Nova Scotia, Canada, United States, Bermuda, Cuba, Mexico (Veracruz, Yucatán), Haiti, Saint Kitts, and Nevis, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, and Venezuela. It has additionally been recorded from the Azores however it isn’t clear {that a} inhabitants have change into established within the waters around that archipelago.

The species is present in depths of water as much as seventy-three meters. Adults may be discovered swimming freely within the water column or connected to a stationary object. Juveniles normally swim close to the floor.

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

The habitat of the lined seahorse consists of marine vegetation, similar to suspended Sargassum, seagrass, sponges, and mangroves.

Depending on the season, the species may be present in shallow waters or deep waters alongside seashores, oyster beds, and banks coated in vegetation, in addition to in bays or salt marshes.

Lined seahorses can usually be discovered with their tails wrapped around crab pots as properly. In the winter, the seahorses are more distinguished in deeper waters, versus hotter months, the place they’re normally present in shallow waters connected to vegetation.

The temperature wherein the H. erectus dwells varies with the completely different latitudes. The temperature has an impact on gonad growth, brood size, and juvenile growth and survival.

Many lined seahorses experience temperature fluctuations through the day-by-day tide cycles, the completely different seasons of every year, and on account of precipitation or runoff.

Adults have the flexibility to emigrate to deeper waters throughout chilly seasons. A research confirmed that the best survival and growth rate of juveniles occurred at 28 to 29 degrees Celsius in captivity.

In addition to temperature, there may be additionally a big range of salinity focus relying on the situation that has an effect on the species. The commonest salinity is 25 to 35 ppt.

In captivity, the species is mostly stored at 35 ppt. The Lined Seahorse is the one species of seahorse native to the Chesapeake Bay.

Lined Seahorse Description

The lined seahorse was first named Hippocampus Erectus by George Perry in 1810. “Hippocampus” interprets as “horse or sea monster” in ancient Greek.

The lined seahorse is a diurnal species that range in size from 12 cm to 17 cm; the utmost size reported for the species is nineteen cm.

The seahorse is sexually dimorphic, which means there are distinct variations in appearances of women and men; most notably the brood pouch positioned on the male’s stomach which it utilized in reproduction.

Males are additionally barely bigger in size and have longer prehensile tails than females. In the wild, the lined seahorse has a lifespan of 1 to 4 years; nonetheless, in captivity, their lifespan normally reaches a total 4 years.

Four years is the utmost age reported for the species. They have a broad coloration spectrum, starting from black, gray, brown, and green, to orange, red, and yellow.

They are usually paler on their front facet. However, their colors change on account of altercations of their environment, diet, nervousness or stress level, and/or temper.

The lined seahorse is brawny and upright in look. They have an armor-like body composed of roughly fifty bony plates. Together these bony plates kind the outer skeleton of the species.

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

It is frequent for the species to have white traces outlining the neck space—therefore its frequent name, “lined seahorse”—and for tiny white dots to be present on the tail.

The prehensile tail consists of quite a few rings and the first, third, fifth, seventh, and eleventh could protrude farther outward than the remaining.

The prehensile tail following the bony plates is utilized by the seahorse to know onto its environment composed of seaweed and coral.

The tail curls ahead and is seldom aligned. When a lined seahorse may be very younger (two weeks to 4 weeks), the tail is extraordinarily limber. The snout size is roughly half the top size of the lined seahorse.

The cheek spines, positioned diagonally down from the attention on both side could also be single or double. In total, the lined seahorse has eleven trunk rings, 34–39 tail rings, 16–20 dorsal-fin rays, and 14–18 pectoral-fin rays.

The pectoral fin is level with the attention on every back facet of the lined seahorse’s head. The dorsal fin is positioned on the back of the skeleton and is level with the abdomen–chest space.

Female dorsal fins are barely bigger than the male’s and are positioned lower on the back. The eyes of the lined seahorse can focus collectively, or they’ll function independently of each other.

The lined seahorse could also be thought-about sexually mature as early as 4 months; nonetheless, it’s usually about eight months. The minimal size of a sexually mature lined seahorse is 5.6 cm.

Food Habit

The seahorse, like all the species of the family Syngnathidae, requires residing meals. They are unable to maneuver quickly sufficient to chase their prey. Instead, the seahorse makes use of its elongated snout to suck in small crustaceans.

Seahorses have a nearly pinpoint accuracy inside the 1-inch range. Young Hippocampus erectus could feed for as long as ten hours of every day and eat as much as 3600 child brine shrimp throughout that point.

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

Lined Seahorse Diet

The lined seahorse makes use of its elongated snout with a view to eating its prey, consisting primarily of minute crustaceans, mollusks, and zooplankton.

Unfortunately, some captive parental males have been recognized to cannibalize a small variety of their personal fry, or juveniles, following its launch into natural habitat.

In order to ambush its prey, the seahorse employs coloration modifications to camouflage itself with its surrounding environment, locates the prey, after which jerks its head upward, forcing the prey within the right place to be sucked in via its tubular snout.

The lined seahorse is extremely correct, particularly if its prey is inside one inch from its snout. Overall, this process is fast and correct. A rising lined seahorse could feed repeatedly for as much as ten hours a day, engulfing roughly 3,600 child brine shrimp.

Predators and parasites

The predators of the lined seahorse embrace crabs, rays, skates, seabirds, sharks, tuna, and dolphinfish. Although their camouflage techniques cut back their threat of turning into prey, their poor swimming skills enhance their probability of being consumed by their predators, particularly massive fish.

There are many parasites and infections recognized to have an effect on the lined seahorse, together with ciliates (Uronemamarinum), nematodes, fungi, myxosporidian, and microsporidians (Glugea heraldi).

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

Lined Seahorse Behavior

A singular attribute of the lined seahorse (and different species of seahorse) is their follow of monogamy: the female and male seahorses select companions that they are going to proceed to mate with for his or her lifetime.

The monogamous traits of the lined seahorse embrace ritual dance with their partner that they carry out each morning. These dances set up their everlasting relationship as mates.

If a male or feminine lined seahorse ought to lose their partner for any purpose, it takes time before they change their mate.

Lined seahorses are weak swimmers; they swim in an erect place. In comparability to their fins, the lined seahorse’s body is simply too massive, another excuse why they’re poor swimmers.

They don’t swim for long intervals of time, nor do they travel far distances, until they’re migrating. The lined seahorse propels its body ahead with its dorsal and pectoral fins, which they transfer quickly back and forth.

These fins are additionally utilized in directing our bodies all through the water and beat twenty to thirty occasions per second, making them nearly invisible at first look.

In addition to monogamy, the lined seahorse additionally cues into sound-making within the mating process. The seahorses have a crown-like bony crest known as a coronet positioned on the bottom of their head on the fringe of the skull.

Each coronet is exclusive to the organism, simply as a fingerprint is exclusive to each human. The coronet resembles a star pattern and is connected fairly loosely and has sharp edges.

As the seahorse lifts its head, the sting of the skull slides beneath the coronet and out when the seahorse bows its head. As the skull’s edge slides beneath and out from the coronet, a clicking sound is produced.

Mating seahorses swim slowly collectively, alternating their clicking sounds, till they embrace each other.

Once the female and male seahorse embrace, the sounds from each female and male unify, turning indistinguishable from each other. This action creates a louder, consecutive sound, additional establishing their bond.

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

Lined Seahorse Reproduction

Like all species of seahorses, the lined seahorse reproduces sexually, laying eggs each season. In addition, the male is the parent that appears after the new child seahorses.

The reproduction process begins on the initiation of the courtship process. Courtship extends for a few days and through this process, each female and male could change to a pale coloration.

The male enlarges his pouch to point his want to pursue the feminine. Once they’re established as monogamous mates although dances and clicking sounds, intercourse takes place.

During intercourse, the feminine sprays her eggs into the male’s pouch, which is known as a “brood pouch”, the place they’re fertilized and sealed. Females clutch size may be equal to or larger than one thousand and the males’ brood size can range from 97 to 1,552 eggs.

The variety of eggs the feminine produces varies relying on the size of the seahorse. Six hundred and fifty eggs may be carried by a single male at one time. The eggs are 1.5 mm in diameter.

When the eggs are being incubated inside the male’s pouch, the embryos are supplied oxygen by way of an in-depth capillary system. Through this method, the sodium and calcium ranges may be altered with a view to keep homeostasis inside the pouch environment.

When the embryos are approaching birth, the pouch environment is similar to the seawater. The gestation interval lasts for 20–21 days.

When the time lastly approaches, the male latches his prehensile tail onto a supportive object whereas he braces back and forth, till the developed seahorses escape from the pouch.

The bracing continues till all seahorses have efficiently escaped the pouch. However, unhatched seahorses which have died will create gas inside the male’s pouch.

Soon after, the male seahorse inevitably floats to the floor, solely to change into straightforward prey within the marine meals chain.

Juveniles are roughly 11 mm at birth for 3 days and are thought-about embryos till they’re able to swim on their very own. Juveniles don’t attain most size till they’re 8–10 months of age.

It is estimated by scientists that solely about two juveniles develop as much as to be adults out of the whole bunch which can be hatched.

In captivity, the species maintained a vertical growth rate of 0.55 mm a day for 100 days. Male juveniles develop pouches when they’re 5–7 months old. The juvenile seahorses rapidly develop the attribute of the adult-lined seahorse.

After birth, courtship begins as soon as once more. Breeding happens within the months of May via October within the Chesapeake Bay. July is when the lined seahorse inhabitants are the best in Florida.

lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, northern seahorse, spotted seahorse

Lined Seahorse Aquarium life

The minimal habitat necessities for captive-lined seahorses encompass a tank 18 inches vertical in height and 20 to 25 gallons for a pair, 30 to 40 gallons for 2 pairs.

The tank ought to be stored at a relentless temperature between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius (72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit). The ph worth ought to stay between 8.1 and eight.4 and the particular gravity between 1.020 and 1.025.

The lined seahorse is a simple going species and won’t be a menace to different fish that would presumably be in an aquarium. The seahorse thrives in an environment with objects it may well conceal round and connect its tail too.

The Lined Seahorse species ought to be fed a number of occasions all through the day, fairly than much less quantity of bigger meals.

In captivity, the lined seahorse is commonly fed live or frozen nauplius or Mysis shrimp, grass shrimp, adult brine shrimp, gammarids and caprellid amphipods, krill barbecue, and frozen krill.

Lined Seahorse Conservation

Seahorse populations within the wild might vanish in the event that they proceed to be exploited for conventional Chinese medicines, aquarium commerce, and vacationer curios.

Countless seahorses are additionally lost each year with the destruction of their coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove habitats. More than 20 million seahorses are collected every year, inflicting some seahorse populations to crash by 50% during the last 5 years.

These and different outcomes from the first main research of the worldwide commerce in seahorses launched by TRAFFIC, a worldwide wildlife commerce monitoring group, recommend that Hippocampus erectus ought to be thought-about threatened. (Coral Forest)

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