Seahorse Savvy-Reidi x Erectus Hybrid Seahorses

Posted by Alyssa Gabriel on

Seahorse Savvy Captive Bred Brazilian Reidi x Erectus Hybrid Seahorses

All of our seahorses are captive bred and raised at our Maryland Seahorse hatchery and farm, Seahorse Savvy. For those not familiar the term hybrid, a hybrid is the offspring of two different species. Our Hybrid seahorses are quite unique. This cross is a Hippocampus reidi x Hippocampus erectus cross. We chose to cross breed these two species specifically because there is an overlap in the natural distribution of these two species and this cross has been documented occurring the wild. H. erectus seahorses have been documented from Nova Scotia, Canada, Gulf of Mexico down to Venezuela. H. Reidi seahorses have been document from North Carolina, U.S.A. to Brazil (FishBase.org). 

Interestingly, many of the hybrid marine fish seen available in the aquarium trade such as surgeonfish and angelfish are broadcast spawners. These fish release gametes into the water all at a given time and hybrids can form when multiple fish species are spawning around the same time. Many of these fish species spawn in the evening around the same time on a reef. Unlike broadcast spawners, seahorses form a close male-female bond. When the female has ripened a clutch of eggs they then begin to rise in the water column in a courtship dance culminating in the transfer of eggs from the female into the male's pouch. When successful, the male then fertilizes the eggs internally in his broodpouch and has a true male pregnancy during which a placenta-like structure grows to nourish the eggs! Unlike the other fish species previously mentioned our hybrids are not randomly produced in the water column by chance, rather our pairs have been selectively conditioned to produce this unique cross. 

At our hatchery is very difficult for us to produce this captive bred seahorse cross since the breeding pairs are two different species, a H. erectus seahorse and H. reidi seahorse. Pairing them up is extremely challenging and it takes a lot tweaking with conditions. We are lucky if we are successful at producing a couple batches of captive bred hybrid seahorses a year even with the extensive research and trials we have worked on. For this reason there is a limited availability with our hybrid captive bred seahorses. We are excited to be able to offer them to hobbyist and when they are available they are always very popular. 

Why cross breed seahorses?

We love our hybrid seahorses because they are very hardy, fast growing, colorful and are all around a great seahorse for the home aquarium. These captive bred beauties are known for their impressive size. Our Hybrid seahorses reach approximately 7-9+ inches by the time they are 1.5-2 years old. They are huge and their bold personality and coloration really makes them quite showy! In our experience they pull some of the best characteristics from the parent species. They are extremely hardy like Hippocampus erectus seahorses are known for and very colorful like the Brazilian Hippocampus reidi. While it is generally not recommended to keep different seahorse species in the same aquarium, our hybrid seahorses can be successfully kept with our Reidi and Erectus seahorses. Having all three (Reidi, Erectus and Reidi x Erectus Hybrids) together is quite neat!

Many folks ask us if our Hybrid seahorses are sterile. As far as we know these cross species are sterile as far as producing fry with each other. We have worked with this cross for several years and have never seen fry produced. This is typically true for all hybrid animals, not just seahorses. With that said, there have been instances where the hybrid seahorse breeds back to the parent species (H. Reidi or H. Erectus). For example, if you are keeping your Reidi x Erectus hybrid seahorses with Reidi or Erectus seahorses there is a chance you may end up with fry. If you are keeping just Reidi x Erectus hybrid seahorses in your aquarium you likely will not have any fry produced.

There are many types of seahorse hobbyist. While many folks enjoy the challenge and opportunity to raise seahorse fry there are also those individuals who prefer not to raise fry. Raising seahorse fry is extremely challenging and lots of work. If you do not want to try and raise seahorse fry our Hybrid seahorses are for you! Well conditioned, Erectus and Reidi seahorses can produce anywhere from 50-1000+ little seahorses which can be overwhelming for many folks! If you want to keep mixed seahorse sexes but do not want fry produced this is a great option for you. The Hybrid seahorses will still court like other male female pairs of seahorses but odds are you will never end up with fry when just keeping these hybrids together. 

Color and Appearance

Our Brazilian Reidi x Erectus hybrid seahorses display beautiful bright yellow and orange coloring. It is true, all seahorses have the ability to change color based on species, surroundings, mood, diet and other factors. Our Hybrid seahorses are the most colorful seahorses we produce and it is generally pretty easy to get them to display magnificent coloration in your home aquarium. Our Hybrid seahorses are known for their brilliant color, large sizes, robustness and being very hardy captive bred seahorses.

As far as appearance, some individuals pull more characteristics from either of the parent species meaning some look more like a H. reidi seahorse and some look more like an H. erectus seahorse. Most individuals in a given brood look like a mix of both parent species. As juveniles, under one year of age, our Hybrid seahorses are mostly solid in color with some saddling markings. As they mature, more spots and line markings tend to develop. 

If you have any questions about keeping our captive bred Reidi x Erectus Hybrid seahorses let us know. We are always happy to help and want you to be successful! Give us a call or send us an email at alyssa@seahorsesavvy.com. 

Seahorse Savvy Captive Bred Reidi x Erectus Hybrid Seahorse Gallery

 

 

 


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