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April 17, 2013 at 5:24 am #1998TamyCMember
So I got a big beautiful girl today. All of my boys are smaller. Do I have a chance they will get together and maybe have babies?April 17, 2013 at 10:04 am #5530Pete GiwojnaGuest
Yes, indeed, the odds are excellent that your big female will pair up with one of the smaller stallions and produce babies sooner or later, Tamy. Just provide them with optimal water quality, a nutritious diet, and a stress-free environment, and nature will eventually do the rest.
The genetic imperative to reproduce is very strong in Hippocampus, to say the least. For example, solitary males often go through the motions of courtship when there are no other seahorses present in their aquarium (Abbott, 2003). They may court their own reflection and sometimes even direct their courtship displays toward their keepers (Abbott, 2003). If no females are present, over-stimulated stallions will sometimes soothe themselves by basking in the air stream from an airstone, content with the tactile stimulation provided by the gentle barrage of bubbles. They may even flirt with inanimate objects. If all else fails, a hitching post may actually suffice as a suitable surrogate when no better alternative is available (Abbott, 2003)!
Same-sex courting displays (both male and female) are also common when no member of the opposite sex is present. Under such circumstances, these passionate ponies are not picky about their partners — males will dance with other stallions and frustrated females will sometimes flirt with other fillies (Abbott, 2003)!
Captive-bred seahorses are far more social and gregarious than their wild conspecifics, so it’s not surprising that Ocean Rider cultured seahorses are particularly irrepressible in that regard, Tamy. They seem to court constantly and the urge to procreate dominates their lives. If given a choice, they are apt to change partners often, and courtship, flirting and dancing are the activities that consume their days. Long before they are sexually mature, juvenile males will spend hours dancing with one another, just horsing around, practicing their moves and perfecting their technique for the real thing to come. Likewise, mature males often compete actively and aggressively with one another through harmless pouch displays and tail-wrestling tug-o-wars whether or not there is a female nearby to appreciate their efforts.
As Carol Cozzi-Schmarr of Ocean Rider, the premier aquaculture facility in Hawaii, puts it, "As far as mating is concerned, it is important to understand that because these sea horses are farm raised and therefore "domesticated" they will be breaking a lot of the rules previously established for wild caughts. They will require less horizontal as well as vertical space and they no longer tend to be shy or picky! In other words they will show off to and mate with whomever they can, even if it means leaving behind the sea horse they mated with last time! It does not matter if their selected partner appears too short or too tall or of a different color or even of the same sex!! They want to dance and court more than anything else (Cozzi-Schmarr, May 2002)!!"
In other words, Tamy, the difference in size between your female and her prospective suitors will not be an insurmountable obstacle when it comes to courtship and breeding. Even if pair formation and mating does not result right away, the young studs will grow quickly, and one or more of them will catch the eye of your big broodmare sooner or later.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Tamy! Here’s hoping your queen-sized female quickly chooses a new partner and that they prove to be very prolific ponies for you in the long run.
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support
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