Rare baby seahorse in British waters

This video is called Male spiny seahorse.

From the Daily Telegraph in England:

Rare baby seahorse spotted in British wates [sic; waters] for first time

A rare baby seahorse has been spotted in British waters – the first time one has ever been seen in Europe.

Published: 5:00PM BST 03 Sep 2010

The spiny seahorses are known to breed in British waters but offspring are so small and fragile that they have never been seen before.

But a single 1.5inch long female baby has been spotted by a diver off the coast of Studland, Dorset, leading experts to compare the sighting to finding a yeti.

Neil Garrick-Maidment, who is also executive director of the Seahorse Trust, took photos of the seahorse clinging on to seagrass as proof of his astounding find.

Mr Garrick-Maidment, 50, said: “It’s absolutely phenomenal. I can’t tell you how excited we are about this. These babies are so small they have never been seen before in Britain, and as far as I know in Europe either.

“It’s akin to seeing a yeti in the wild, it’s that rare. It was pure luck that I found it. There were very poor diving conditions that day and we could barely see our hands in front of our faces.

“I was just coming back to shore when I saw this small spiny seahorse clinging onto a piece of seagrass. It was about four centimetres long and must have been born at the end of June.

“I measured it and took a few pictures, before it went deeper into the seagrass. We’ve seen adults, pregnant males and juveniles, so we knew they were breeding, but the fry have never been seen before.

“The species is literally hanging on by its fingertips so it’s heartening to see them breeding here. I can’t overestimate how rare it is to see something like this. It’s absolutely, mind-blowingly fantastic.”

This spiny seahorse – Hippocampus guttulatus in Latin – is the smallest recorded in British waters since a seahorse survey begun in 1994.

It would be one of around 300 to 500 born to each male seahorse and would only have measured 4mm when born.

Fewer than two or three of each brood survive to adulthood, with most becoming food for fish.

If the baby specimen survives, when fully grown she will reach 6-7ins in length and will in turn eat a staggering 3,000 plus pieces of miniature plankton every 24 hours.

The site, off Studland, Dorset, is Britain’s largest known breeding colony for seahorses and was known to be home to adult and juvenile spiny seahorses.

The area is popular with boat owners and a study is being carried out to discover if anchors are damaging the seagrass habitat.

Seahorse success: 918 babies born at ZSL London Zoo. Watch our video to find out more: here.

A new seahorse (Teleostei: Syngnathidae: Hippocampus) from south-western Australia: here.

The world’s seagrass meadows are under threat and with them, species diversity and economic activity – but there’s another reason to care about their fate: here.


3 thoughts on “Rare baby seahorse in British waters

  1. Pingback: Rare seahorse in London river | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: English marine conservation news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British privatised water, prisons | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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