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Food and feeding habits of the seahorses Hippocampus spinosissimus and Hippocampus trimaculatus (Malaysia)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 November 2014

M.Y. Yip
Affiliation:
Faculty of Science, Institute of Biological Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia Save Our Seahorses Malaysia, No. 2, Jalan 6/24, Seksyen 6, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
A.C.O. Lim
Affiliation:
Faculty of Science, Institute of Biological Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia Save Our Seahorses Malaysia, No. 2, Jalan 6/24, Seksyen 6, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia Institute of Ocean & Earth Sciences, C308, Institute of Postgraduate Studies Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
V.C. Chong*
Affiliation:
Faculty of Science, Institute of Biological Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia Institute of Ocean & Earth Sciences, C308, Institute of Postgraduate Studies Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
J.M. Lawson
Affiliation:
Project Seahorse, Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia, 2204 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T IZ4, Canada
S.J. Foster
Affiliation:
Project Seahorse, Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia, 2204 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T IZ4, Canada
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: V.C. Chong, Faculty of Science, Institute of Biological Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia email: chong@um.edu.my

Abstract

Two seahorse species, Hippocampus spinosissimus and Hippocampus trimaculatus, sampled in east and west coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia, fed mostly on crustacean prey; small caridean shrimps and amphipods as adults (both species), and copepods and larval meroplankton as juveniles (for H. trimaculatus only). The similar short relative gut length (~0.4) of both species is consistent with a carnivorous diet. Both species are considered specialists in prey selection, focusing on slow-moving epibenthic, hyperbenthic and canopy-dwelling crustaceans that dwell on the mud-sand seabed, or are associated with seagrass or mangrove areas. In this light, seahorses with their juveniles in shallow waters are vulnerable to coastal reclamation and development.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2014 

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