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      Lined Seahorse

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      Reef Keeper

      Registered: July 2003
      Location: Sumner
      Posts: 7,855
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      Scientific Name: Hippocampus erectus
      Max. size: 20.3 cm TL (male/unsexed); 18.5 cm OT (female)
      Environment: reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 1 - 73 m
      Distribution: Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Panama and Venezuela. A southern form that may prove to be a separate species is known from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and questionably from Suriname. International trade is monitored through a licensing system (CITES II, since 5.15.04).
      Morphology: Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16-20. Description: (based on 51 specimens): Adult height: 5.5-18.5cm. Rings: 11 36 (34-39). Snout length: 2.6 (2.2-3.2) in head length. Dorsal fin rays: 18-19 (16-20) covering 2 1 rings. Pectoral fin rays: 15-16 (14-18). Coronet: variable, low, triangular wedge, or ridge-like or raised with sharp edges, or with relatively sharp spines. Spines: variable from none, to well-developed with blunt or sharp tips. Other distinctive characters: usually first, third, fifth, seventh and eleventh trunk rings enlarged (in most other species it is the first, fourth, seventh and eleventh); snout usually less than half head length; deep-bodied; cheek spine single or double. Color pattern: base color variable – ash grey, orange, brown, yellow, red or black; brown individuals tend to be paler on ventral side; often with a characteristic pattern of white lines following contour of neck; tiny white dots on tail; may have darker or paler ‘saddles’ across dorsal surface often in line with the more enlarged body rings.
      Biology: Generally in coastal waters; often around man-made structures. Usually attached to gorgonians or seagrasses but may occur in floating Sargassum or swimming freely in midwater. Those that live in Sargassum usually have bony protuberances and fleshy tabs that may serve as camouflage. Has been reared in captivity. Move into deeper waters during winter. Feeds by sucking in small organisms, using its long face as a pipette.
      Aquarium Care: This species is easier to feed in smaller tanks because food densities are higher. Best housed in a quiet species aquarium, without competitive tankmates or excessive water flow. Provide stationary perches around which they can wrap their prehensile tails.
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      Additional Info
      Keywords: Lined Seahorse

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