Characterization of seahorse populations in different areas in the north coast in the western and central regions of Cuba

  • Lourdes Pastor Gutiérrez Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente Acuario Nacional de Cuba
  • Daril de la Nuez Hernández Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente Acuario Nacional de Cuba
  • Raúl Igor Corrada Wong Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente Acuario Nacional de Cuba
  • Yuliet Piloto Cubero Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente Acuario Nacional de Cuba
  • Alejandro Pérez Angulo Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente Acuario Nacional de Cuba
Keywords: Hippocampus reidi, Hippocampus erectus, seahorse, density, Cuba

Abstract

Seahorses are ornamental fish of great interest for exhibits in the Cuban National Aquarium; therefore, the current state of natural populations of the species Hippocampus reidi (Ginsburg, 1933) and Hippocampus erectus (Perry, 1810) was assessed in different areas in the north coast of western and central regions in Cuba. Visual censuses were conducted by free diving, using the linear transects method, between March 2007 and March 2010. Means were compared using Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests. The largest densities were found in the artificial structures in the Barracuda and Caleta stations, probably due to the large number of anchor sites and eutrophication. No differences were recorded in this variable for either species between the rainy and dry seasons. H. reidi was the most abundant species and the most widely distributed. Although the density of seahorse individuals is generally low, the marked shortage of H. erectus specimens may have been due to the sampling method (maximum depth 2 meters). There were more males than females in both species. H. reidi reproduced all year long and the sexual ratio recorded was very similar to 1:1 ratio, while, in H. erectus, this variable was different than expected. Macroalgae of the genus Caulerpa was the substrate most widely used by both species.

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Published
2017-03-12
How to Cite
Pastor Gutiérrez, L., de la Nuez Hernández, D., Corrada Wong, R., Piloto Cubero, Y., & Pérez Angulo, A. (2017). Characterization of seahorse populations in different areas in the north coast in the western and central regions of Cuba. Journal of Marine and Coastal Sciences, 9(1), 23-39. https://doi.org/10.15359/revmar.9-1.2

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