- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 6 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
May 24, 2011 at 12:42 am #1886DavidCox1979Member
Hello forum and fellow seahorse lovers,
I have a Black Brazillian Stallion (H.Reidi) and bought a mated pair of Mustangs from the Club. The Reidi when I received him from the LFS was in great health and from what I can tell still is. However the LFS thought he was pregnant, of which I found out he was just pumping water through his pouch streching it out to look as if he was. His mate didn’t come for what reason I don’t know? 🙁 He immediately, I think assosiated my hand as his new mate…lol. After I placed him in my tank I prepared for the new arrivals. Which DIDN’T happen. He was just doing his "push up’s and set up’s" for exercising his pouch I guess. I hope it isn’t a GBS/GBD. If so I have Diamox and other antibiotics onhand if needed. Pete as you read this give me some feedback to what you might think on that please and thanks in advance. Anyone who has feedback please and thank you in advance. Anyways, now that the Mustang pair from the club here are in the tank with him, he has really increased his exercise routine of pumping and pointing, and has now started showing off a different color of a more pinkish torso with black spots, and a black spotted tail. He is doing the fluttering with his perfectly fan shaped fin, and showing off the opening in his pouch. The female Mustang has now started running after him latching tails and circling around for a bit, but still goes back to her mate with VIBRANT colors (beautiful), and the male Mustang will slowly go away not showing any color change. Then so on and so forth. The Mustangs still greet each other every morning, and perch together. Is the Black Brazillian just getting her worked up to start producing eggs, from which she will then try to work up her mate, or will they eventually cross-breed? If they do it is cool, I just never have heard anyone mention if this will happen or not? Any comments welcome please…
DavidCox1979[color=#000080][/color]May 25, 2011 at 5:40 am #5321Pete GiwojnaGuest
Yes, sir, it is indeed possible for Brazilian seahorses (Hippocampus reidi) and Mustangs or Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) to cross breed successfully. The ranges of these two species overlap in the wild and they are known to occasionally interbreed in nature.
Furthermore, the offspring produced as a result of a H. reidi/H. erectus pairing are viable and develop normally. In fact, I can tell you from personal experience that the offspring from such a cross are often very beautiful seahorses that combine the best features of both of their parents.
Interspecific hybridization has also been known to occur between a number of other species in the aquarium, David. For example, Hippocampus barbouri and H. comes are compatible in all their aquarium requirements and have also been known to crossbreed. And, like the H. reidi/H. erectus crosses, the interspecific hybrids that result from H. barbouri/H. comes pairings are often very striking. For example, I know of one case where a female H. barbouri mated with a male H. comes in a hobbyist’s tank (Greg Hiller, pers. com.) and produced offspring. Hiller succeeded in raising one of these hybrid fry well into the juvenile or subadult phase, and it was a very beautiful specimen indeed. The hybrid barbouri-comes youngster showed the pale color, crownlike coronet, increased spininess and boldly striped snout of its H. barbouri mother, while retaining the splendid mottling and tiger stripes on its tail and body that it inherited from its H. comes father. Outstanding!
So it’s most definitely not unheard of for certain species to crossbreed and produce viable offspring in captivity, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing on the hobbyist level, since the hybrids that result can be very attractive seahorses. However, that doesn’t apply to a commercial aquaculture facility, David.
Crossbreeding is generally frowned upon and considered undesirable in aquaculture for a number of reasons, most all of which do not pertain to the home hobbyist.
In home hobby tanks, however, where different species of seahorses are often mixed freely, crossbreeding or interspecific hybridization does occasionally occur, but it is quite uncommon, especially when seahorses have potential partners of their own species available to them. The prolonged, elaborate courtship ritual that seahorses go through before mating occurs generally prevents seahorses from different species from breeding successfully. Suffice it to say that seahorses are much, much better at species recognition than we are, and that given a choice, they almost always prefer to mate with their own kind. Almost always.
So, sir, all things considered, my advice to you would be to just sit back and enjoy the show. If your reidi stallion ultimately ends up pairing with the female Mustang, rather than the Mustang stallion, it’s not a tragedy at all and may produce some very interesting results.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Dave! Here’s hoping that, one way or the other, you soon have a brood of healthy babies on your hands, sir.
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