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 Species of the Week – Long-snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus)

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Join date : 1970-01-01

PostSubject: Species of the Week – Long-snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus)   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:55 am

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Did you know that you can see seahorses in Irish waters?

Long-snouted Seahorse, also known as Maned or Spiny Seahorse, is one of only two native Ireland´s seahorses. It can be found in shallow, sheltered waters of northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. This species can be up to 15 cm in length and coloured from greenish-yellow through to reddish-brown, often mimicking the colour of surrounding vegetation.

Despite their harmless look, seahorses are great predators. They wait in the water until prey such as small crustaceans or young fish pass close by and quickly suck the prey up into the long snout.

The most fascinating aspect of seahorse biology is their reproduction. Mating occurs between March and October, when the female deposits a clutch of eggs into a pouch in the male's tail. The male fertilises them and seals the pouch shut, enclosing the embryos in a protective environment and supplying them with oxygen through a network of capillaries. After a gestation period of three to five weeks the male enters labour, which lasts for hours as he actively forces the young out of the pouch!
Immediately after birth, the young seahorses are independent and receive no further care from their parents.

Seahorses are threatened worldwide, not only by habitat destruction, but also by Traditional Chinese Medicine Trade, Curio Trade (jewellery, souvenirs) and pet trade.
We would like to appeal on everybody not to buy any seahorse products on holidays and boycott the trade.

Both species of seahorses are protected in the UK and it is illegal to kill, take or disturb seahorses. The same protection is offered to their habitat. Also, use of flash photography was banned as it was proven to be very harmful.

Unfortunately, there is no protection for any marine fish and invertebrates under Ireland´s Wildlife Act. We would still like to encourage our friends to observe Ireland´s seahorses from safe distance and not disturb them.

Have you ever seen a seahorse in Ireland? Let us know!

Photographs by Roberto Pillon, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
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Join date : 2012-03-06
Posts : 6142

PostSubject: Re: Species of the Week – Long-snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus)   Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:36 pm

They are so cute, I think it is such a shame that anything has to be protected, every ittle creature should be able to live his or her little life in peace.


Jo xx
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