Re:Thank You Pete

Pete Giwojna

Dear Amber:

Hey, that’s good news! If your yellow seahorses are stocky and thickset in build, have well-developed spines, and a crownlike coronet with distinct tines, then they are definitely not the notoriously finicky Brazilian seahorses (Hippocampus reidi). The colorful H. reidi are slender, lithe seahorses that are smooth bodied and lack sharp spines or a spiky, crownlike coronet.

It sounds like your yellow seahorses may be Prickly Seahorses (Hippocampus barbouri), or at least belong to the histrix complex of spiny seahorses from the Indo Pacific, Amber. That’s an encouraging development for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, H. barbouri are less picky feeders than H. reidi and it should be easier for you to wean your prickly seahorses away from their dependency on live foods and train them to eat frozen fare instead. Secondly, H. barbouri babies are much easier to raise than H. reidi babies. The barb babies are benthic fry that are large enough to accept newly hatched Artemia nauplii as their first food. That makes them a great deal easier to rear than the pelagic fry produced by H. reidi, which go through an extended pelagic period and usually need to be started on smaller foods such as rotifers or larval copepods. That should improve your chances of raising the handful of babies that were born recently, since they will be easier to feed and you should have fewer problems with floaters and surface huggers.

Best of luck weaning your new acquisitions onto frozen foods and raising their babies, Amber!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

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