Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › Harve and Chloe are parents!
- This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 15 years, 9 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
August 18, 2007 at 9:11 am #1261jarabasMember
Harve and Chloe are parents! Harve birthed about 40 fry this morning. He seems exhausted–won\’t eat and leaning against a rock while hitched to a plastic plant. Hope he recovers fast. I\’m a little worried about him.
The fry are too CUTE. I was able to foster them out to someone with more experience than I have. They started snicking rotifers as soon as they were offered. Cross fingers they will grow up.
JanAugust 19, 2007 at 6:24 am #3768Pete GiwojnaGuest
Congratulations on your new brood of babies! No matter how often I see a stallion giving birth, it never ceases to amaze me. Watching the fry erupt into existence that way is an incredible sight. They are perfect miniature replicas of their parents, able to fend for themselves from the first. It seems a brutal beginning, a ruthlessly rude awakening, to be violently thrust into the world in such an abrupt fashion, but the newborns hit the water swimming without missing a stroke. It’s a thrill to be witnessing such a miracle of nature and always leaves me awed and exhilarated!
Prolonged labor and the birth spasms do indeed take a toll on the gravid males. Shortly before delivery, the fully developed young emerge from their individual compartments and shake loose into the lumen of the pouch. They become very active toward the end of the pregnancy and can sometimes be seen wriggling about through the membrane of the swollen brood pouch at this time. This appears to be every bit as uncomfortable as it sounds, since expecting males become agitated and distressed as the big moment approaches. They experience definite labor pains when birth is imminent, evident as a series of powerful contractions, and soon begin pumping in time with these birth spasms in order to forcibly eject the fry from their pouches. Labor usually begins well after dark in the early morning hours. The distraught male may pump and thrust vigorously for hours before finally ejecting the first of the newborns. The fry are expelled singly or in ones and twos at first, but are soon spewing forth in bunches and bursts of a half dozen or more.
Delivering a large brood this way is hard work, and the exhausted male will pause periodically to recover from his exertions, gathering his strength until he is caught in the throes of another round of contractions. In some cases, it takes 2-3 days for the entire brood to be delivered in this manner. No doubt Harve was pretty worn out afterwards, but he should bounce back quickly and make a complete recovery.
In fact, Jan, you should keep a close eye on Harve and Chloe for the next day or so because pair-bonded males will typically remate within 24-48 hours after giving birth. You may get to see their courtship and mating dance which is another fascinating spectacle in its own right.
It’s good to hear that you’re able to foster all the fry with an experienced breeder and give them a good chance for survival.
Best of luck with your mated pair and all of their offspring, Jan!
Pete GiwojnaAugust 20, 2007 at 10:01 pm #3771jarabasGuest
You are right about mating right away–They were at it hot and heavy the day after the fry were born. What a beautiful sight, to see them swimming in tandem and holding tails. I’m going to have to line up more seahorse nannies.
I was very glad that they both ate really well this morning.
JanAugust 21, 2007 at 6:01 am #3772Pete GiwojnaGuest
It’s good to hear that Harve regained his strength quickly after delivering his brood and is already feeling his oats again! Yeah, that synchronized swimming that they are doing (usually described as the "Parallel Promenade" or as "carouselling" when they are circling a common holdfast in tandem) are the typical love dances of the seahorse. They are the warm up for the episodes of "Pumping" (by the stallion) and "Pointing" (by the female) that lead up to the copulatory rise, so if you keep a close eye on your mated pair you may get to witness the transfer of the eggs.
Best of luck with your amorous seahorses, Jan!
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