Northern Seahorse
(Hippocampus erectus)

Northern Seahorse
Copyright 2001 SeaWorld Inc. Busch Entertainment Corp. All Rights Reserved. http://www.seaworld.org

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From CD Supplement to: Sounds of the Western North Atlantic Fishes by Fish & Mowbray, 1970. CD Copyright University of Rhode Island, 2001.
Description
The northern seahorse occurs along the Atlantic coast of North America mainly from South Carolina to Cape Cod, but is occasionally found as far north as Nova Scotia. These fish reside in vegetated habitats, such as seagrass beds, where their morphology is well adapted to feeding and survival. The prehensile tail of the seahorse allows them to grip seagrass blades, while the long mouth acts like a straw and generates a suction that allows them to slurp in small crustaceans and various larvae commonly found in this habitat. Spawning occurs during the summer months. The female deposits eggs into the brood pouch of the male where they are retained until hatching (1-2 weeks). Once hatched, baby seahorses resemble the general appearance of the adults and are independent of parental care within a few days.

Seahorses produce sound in association with feeding and courtship. Stridulation of the bony edges of the skull and coronet produce snaps and clicks which are possibly amplified by the swim bladder. Sound production has been observed to occur during courtship behavior where the male and female alternately produce loud clicking sounds while embracing.