And, of course, once we begin

Pete Giwojna

And, of course, once we begin, I will be working with you personally every step of the way through our ongoing correspondence until your new aquarium is ready for seahorses and you are well prepared to give them the best of care, regardless of how long that may take.

Dear Adam:

You’re very welcome, sir!

Yeah, my inclination is that you have a young pair (male and female) of Sunbursts, Adam.

Short of waiting until the spring, the easiest way to verify the gender of the seahorses would be for you to take a close look at their anal fins. If the anal fins appear to be situated differently on the two seahorses, then you can be confident that they are of opposite sexes.

If the anal fin is located higher up on the abdomen of one of the seahorses (a male trait) and located lower on the abdomen of the other seahorse, closer to the base of the tail (a female trait), that usually a pretty good indicator of gender.

In addition, fillies tend to carry their anal fin oriented downwards, parallel with the tail (i.e., pointing downward when the seahorse is hitched in its normal upright posture), whereas stallions tend to carry their anal fin extended outwards, away from their abdomens (parallel to the bottom of the aquarium, when the seahorse is hitched it is normal upright position), or at least at an angle, rather than pointing straight downwards.

The difference in the position and typical orientation of the anal fin in males and females is due to anatomical differences in their plumbing and the way it branches to form a separate anus and urogenital pore within the vent – differences which subsequently dictate where the anal fin develops in the different sexes. This makes the position and orientation of the anal fin a fairly reliable indicator of gender, even in juvenile seahorses lacking a distinct pouch.

So in a nutshell, sir, if the anal fin is located differently in both of the Sunbursts, there is a good chance that they are different sexes.

Best of luck with your new arrivals, Adam!

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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