Shorthead seahorse

Posted by sharejosie on 12/5/2018

Observation details

When did you see it? Species guess Current ID
2018-11-26 Shorthead Seahorse Shorthead seahorse
Hippocampus breviceps


Baby seahorse, around 1 month old, incredible to watch just floated on through the Rye pier towards Blairegowrie, so courageous


markmcg commented
So cute! :)
rfoster commented
Really? What's the ref? I wasn't aware they went that far up the east coast. I'm skeptical, like you, without good evidence. They can't really be confused with H. abdominalis, always having a prominent crown, but are superficially like H. whitei. For a century the overgrown juvs in SA were identified as whitei.
sascha_schulz commented
@rfoster so the snout is long in juvis, then fails to grow as the animal does? What is the snout length ratio for juvis, I can only find 2x eye width for general size animals... ???
rfoster commented
@sascha_schulz yes, juvs look a lot more like a 'typical' seahorse in their proportions than do the adults. In SA some never settle and retain these proportions while growing way bigger than sessile breeding adults. Will check some specimens at work for approx ratios.
sascha_schulz commented
bugger.. there is NSW paper claiming H breviceps is common along the south coast of NSW.. I was hoping it was a basic misID of H abdominalis....
sascha_schulz commented Sorry, its Vanacampus poecilolaemus that is claimed to be very common (no other records before or since), I suspect its a mis-id of S nigra which the researchers found relatively few of. 2 x H breviceps and 1 x whitei but zero abdominalis which is actually found in those eastuaries.
sascha_schulz commented
Let's be honest, hardyheads aren't going to get studied any other way! hahaha
markmcg commented
Ha! @sascha_schulz @rfoster
rfoster commented
Yep, another grey paper full of inaccuracies because proper IDs weren't obtained and no voucher specimens were lodged at a museum.... there's no end of them. I recently heard of a BSc honours student who'd spent a year studying the ecology of juvenile king george whiting, as she thought, and was starting to write up. Another student, who'd volunteered at the museum doing IDs for me, asked to see if her specimens were worth lodging at the museum and, after one look, informed her that they were actually hardyheads she'd been catching... Amazingly, she did manage to retrieve something to submit from the wreckage.
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