Pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

Denise’s pygmy seahorse photo - Hippocampus denise - G | Arkive

pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

On the 1st April my PhD was officially awarded. I am the first person to have completed a PhD on the biology of pygmy seahorses and I'm. Wanted!!! ATTENTION: In desperate search of sea fan. Who: Pygmy seahorse. What: A commensal relationship (Commensalism). When: ASAP. Pygmy seahorses live their entire adult lives attached to a type of coral called a Gorgonian sea fan. The seahorses use their long tails to grab.

In recent years, six other new pygmy seahorse species have been described: An additional species from Japan awaits description Kuiter It is expected that additional species will be described in the near future Lourie and KuiterGomon and KuiterKuiter This grouping is based on distinctive characters, i.

Fish, fans and hydroids: host species of pygmy seahorses

This study deals with the octocoral Cnidaria: Octocorallia and hydrozoan Cnidaria: This relationship is exhibited by many different species in many different ways. An example of a mutualistic relationship would be the cleaner fish that works with larger fish to remove parasitic fish and diseased or nerotic tissue from their scales, gills, or mouths. The relationship may take place between species that are closely related phylogenetically, or more distantly related.

One species of fish that act as cleaners when they are young is a hogfish, and another species is a wrasse Fenner, Commensalistic relationships occur very often on the coral reef, many times for camouflage and the protection against predators.

This relationship is important for the organism that is being camouflaged, but does not aid in the life of the other organism, but does not harm it either.

Diving with Seahorses | Dive The World Creature Features

Examples of species that work in this type of commensalistic relationship are the pygmy seahorse, and a sea fan. The fan works are a camouflage for the seahorse, and the seahorse benefits because of the deception from the predators Fenner, Parasitic relationships are also common on the coral reef, but usually occur in a more destructive manner. An example of a parasitic relationship is the goby fish that is the host to a copepod crustacean Fenner, Another example is a type of barnacle, the Sacculina carcini, which infests a host crab.

pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

Many species interact in these types of relationships because they need to do so in order to maintain their lives. Some species may have a relationship that requires direct contact with another species, such as the cleaner fish, and these fish, both the cleaners and those being cleaned, are very trusting. The cleaner fish must depend on the bigger fish not to take advantage of them being in their mouths and eating them, while the larger fish must depend on the smaller fish not to take advantage of them, and eat more than just parasites.

Other species need not be in direct contact with other organisms, such as the small pilot fish that usually swims with barracudas or sharks in the open ocean in order to be protected from other predators that may be lurking in the open water. The clown fish are immune to the sting from the tentacles of the anemone, so they are able to live in the anemone without harming the organism, or being harmed by the organism Bolin, Pelagic fish stomach contents have also included seahorses which suggests that they may be found in the open ocean more than previously thought.

Distribution They are found all over the world and inhabit coral reefs and sea grass beds. They have been recorded at depths as low as 0. The Barbigants pygmy seahorse hippocampus barbiganti can be found all over Indonesia in various colours and at all depths. These fans have bulbous red polyps as do the pygmies. This, along with their small size, is what makes them so difficult to spot. Denise Hackett recently discovered a new pygmy species in Indonesia.

It's named after her, Hippocampus Denise, but it's often called the 'plucked chicken pygmy seahorse' due to its unusual appearance with a lack of the typical bumps tubercles. Hippocampus Denise is normally found in light yellow gorgonians which, like the pygmy, are less bulbous with smaller polyps.

pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

The weedy pygmy seahorse is an even newer discovery. First recorded in the Banda Sea inthey are now regularly seen at Wakatobi and the Lembeh Strait.

pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

The Raja Ampat area is another good place to find them. This species is the smallest and most cryptic. They seem to move around more than other species making them even harder to pin point. Ecological Considerations Pygmy and common seahorses such as the tigertail, are sensitive to stress and too much harassment from divers is certainly not good for them.

Symbiotic Relationships

They particularly dislike bright lights and will turn their heads away if a diver shines a dive light at them. Placing a red filter or red plastic bag with an elastic band over it on to a dive light will give a softer diffused light that they will be less sensitive to and should enable photographers to get better pictures. Threats Their numbers around the world are diminishing. Dried seahorses are viewed as a cure for a range of conditions such as asthma and skin disease, but they are most commonly used as a treatment of sexual dysfunction.

Asian nations consume around 45 tons of dried sea horse annually.

pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

That's equates to about 16 million of them! One problem is that many of the harvested seahorses are juveniles and have not had a chance to breed and reproduce. There is no clinical proof that they have any medicinal benefits but the Chinese have been using them as a fundamental part of their traditional medicine for centuries and there is a strong conviction that there is a benefit.

They are also being over-collected for the aquarium trade in Europe, North America and Japan. Furthermore, their habitat is under threat. Sea grass areas, mangroves and coral reefs are declining world wide.

Some seahorses, such as the big-belly seahorse is on the precipice between vulnerable and endangered.

pygmy seahorse and sea fan relationship

Many others have not yet been categorised due to lack of data.