Aquaculture International

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 29–43 | Cite as

Improved reproductive performance of tiger tail seahorse, Hippocampus comes, by mysid shrimp fed singly or in combination with other natural food

  • Shelah Mae A. Buen-Ursua
  • Teruo Azuma
  • Katsutoshi Arai
  • Relicardo M. Coloso


The brood size, parturition frequency and parturition occurrence of tiger tail seahorse, Hippocampus comes were evaluated for 180 days using single and combined diets comprising Artemia salina, mysid shrimp Mesopodopsis orientalis and frozen Acetes sp. The daily food intake of seahorse was determined with the following treatments: T1-Artemia; T2-mysid; T3-Acetes; T4-Artemia + mysid; T5-Artemia + Acetes; T6-mysid + Acetes; and T7-Artemia + mysid + Acetes. Percent body weight (% BW) of daily food intake until satiation was similar in Artemia, mysid and Artemia + Acetes (20–22 %), but significantly higher in mysid + Acetes, Artemia + mysid, and Artemia + mysid + Acetes with 25, 31 and 33 %, respectively (p < 0.05). Single diet of frozen Acetes was least consumed at 6 %. Thus, mysid was the preferred food of adult seahorses as a single or combined diet with Artemia and Acetes. Diet treatments with single mysid or combined with Artemia and Acetes have significantly higher brood size (223–292) than the other treatments (107–152) (p < 0.05). Significantly longer parturition interval (60 days) was observed in seahorses fed with Artemia than those fed with mysid or in combination with other natural food (13–26 days), but not significantly different to seahorses fed with Acetes and Artemia + Acetes (42–45 days). Parturition occurrence in seahorse fed with Artemia, Acetes and Artemia + Acetes (2.7–4.3) were the lowest, while Artemia + mysid and Artemia + mysid + Acetes have significantly higher occurrence followed by mysids + Acetes and mysid only (p < 0.05). Thus, the reproductive performance was improved when seahorses were fed with single or combined foods including mysid. Total lipid was positively correlated to brood size and parturition occurrence, while DHA:EPA ratio was negatively correlated to brood size and parturition occurrence.


Brood size Endangered species Parturition frequency Seed production Stock enhancement 



This study was funded by the Government of Japan Trust Fund (GOJ-TF) for Stock Enhancement Program entitled “Resource Enhancement of Internationally Threatened and Over-Exploited Species in Southeast Asia through Stock Release” (Budget code 5029-TRD-Br0710). This study was also supported in part by Asia-Africa Science Platform (AASP) Program(2011–2013 FY) and RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program (2013–2015 FY, DOST-11322) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The authors wish to thank Charlemagne Recente, Rod Salvador Tibubos and Arnel Abaricio in SEAFDEC/AQD for their assistance in the maintenance of seahorses. We also thank Rose Margaret Albacete for the proximate analysis of natural food and Jilla Alcalde Tornalejo for the fatty acid analysis of seahorse.


  1. AOAC (1995) In: Helrich K (ed) Official methods of analysis, 15th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  2. Azuma T, Buen-Ursua SMA (2012) Seahorses. Part II: issues and challenges in sustainable fisheries development of the Southeast Asian Region. In: The Southeast Asian State of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SEASOFIA), Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Bangkok, Thailand. pp 46–49Google Scholar
  3. Buen-Ursua SMA, Azuma T, Recente CP, Batatin RE (2011) Effects of UV-treated sea water, chlorinated sea water, and formalin-treated copepods on survival and growth of newborn seahorses, Hippocampus comes. Isr J Aquacult Bamidgeh IIC 63:629–635Google Scholar
  4. Cerda J, Carrillo M, Zanuy S, Ramos J, de la Higuera M (1994) Influence of nutritional composition of diet on sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax L., reproductive performance and egg and larval quality. Aquaculture 128:345–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duray M, Kohno H, Pascual F (1994) The effect of enriched broodstock diets on spawning and on egg and larval quality of hatchery-bred rabbitfish (Siganus guttatus). Philipp Sci 31:42–57Google Scholar
  6. Dzyuba B, Van Look KJW, Cliffe A, Koldewey H, Holt WV (2006) Effect of parental age and associated size on fecundity, growth and survival in yellow seahorse, Hippocampus kuda. J Exp Biol 209:3055–3061PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eusebio PS, Coloso RM, Gapasin RSJ (2010) Nutritional evaluation of mysids Mesopodopsis orientalis (Crustacea: Mysida) as live food for grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus larvae. Aquaculture 306:289–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fernandez-Palacios H, Izquierdo MS, Robaina L, Valencia A, Salhi M, Vergara J (1995) Effect of n-3 HUFA level in broodstock diets on egg quality of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.). Aquaculture 132:325–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Folch J, Lees M, Sloane Stanley GH (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226:497–509PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Foster SJ, Vincent ACJ (2004) Life history and ecology of seahorses: implications for conservation and management. J Fish Biol 65:1–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garcia LMB, Hilomen-Garcia GV, Calibara RLM (2010) Culturing seahorse (Hippocampus barbouri) in illuminated cages with supplementary acetes feeding. Isr J Aquac Bamidgeh 62:122–129Google Scholar
  12. Hamre K, Moren M, Solbakken J, Opstad I, Pittmanze K (2005) The impact of nutrition on metamorphosis in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.). Aquaculture 250:555–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hossain M, Furichi M, Yone Y (1989) Propagation, proximate and fatty acid composition of Brachionus plicatilis fed on yeast cultured in sea water containing liquid from mackerel waste juice. Nipp Suis Gak 55:87–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Izquierdo MS (1996) Essential fatty acid requirements of cultured marine fish larvae. Aquac Nutr 2:183–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Izquierdo MS, Fernandez-Palacios H, Tacon AGJ (2001) Effect of broodstock nutrition on reproductive performance of fish. Aquaculture 197:25–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Job S, Do H, Meeuwig J, Hall H (2002) Culturing the oceanic seahorse, Hippocampus kuda. Aquaculture 214:333–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Job SD, Buu D, Vincent ACJ (2006) Growth and survival of the tiger tail seahorse, Hippocampus comes. J World Aquac Soc 37:322–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kendrick AJ, Hyndes GA (2005) Variations in the dietary compositions of morphologically diverse syngnathid fishes. Environ Biol Fish 72:415–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kitsos MS, Tzomos TH, Anagnostopoulou L, Koukouras A (2008) Diet composition of the seahorses, Hippocampus guttulatus (Cuvier, 1829)and Hippocampus hippocampus(L., 1758) (Teleostei, Sygnathidae) in the Aegean Sea. J Fish Biol 72:1259–1267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Koldewey HJ, Martin-Smith KM (2010) A global review of seahorse aquaculture. Aquaculture 302:131–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lin Q, Lu J, Gao Y, Shen L, Cai J, Luo J (2006) The effect of temperature on gonad, embryonic development and survival rate of juvenile seahorses, Hippocampus kuda Bleeker. Aquaculture 254:701–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lin Q, Gao Y, Sheng J, Chen Q, Zhang B, Luo J (2007) The effect of food and the sum of effective temperature on the embryonic development of the seahorse, Hippocampus kuda Bleeker. Aquaculture 262:481–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lin Q, Lin J, Zhang D (2008) Breeding and juvenile culture of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus Perry 1810. Aquaculture 292:287–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lourie SA, Foster SJ, Cooper EWT, Vincent ACJ (2004) A guide to the identification of seahorses. Project seahorse and traffic North America. University of British Columbia and World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  25. Murugan A, Dhanya S, Sreepada RA, Rajagopal S, Balasubramanian T (2009) Breeding and mass-scale rearing of three spotted seahorse, Hippocampus trimaculatus Leach under captive conditions. Aquaculture 290:87–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Olivotto I, Avella MA, Sampaolesi G, Piccinetti CC, Navarro Ruiz P, Carnevali O (2008) Breeding and rearing the long snout seahorse Hippocampus reidi: rearing and feeding studies. Aquaculture 283:92–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Olivotto I, Planas M, Simoes N, Holt GJ, Avella MA, Calado R (2011) Advances in breeding and rearing marine ornamentals. J World Aquac Soc 42:135–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Otero-Ferrer F, Molina L, Socorro J, Herrera R, Fernandez-Palacios H, Izquierdo M (2012) Effect of live preys in spawning quality of short-snouted seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus. J World Aquac Soc 43:174–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Palma J, Andrade JP (2012) Growth, reproductive performances and brood quality of long snout seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) fed enriched shrimp diets. J World Aquac Soc 43:802–813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Palma J, Bureau DP, Andrade JP (2013) The effect of diet on ontogenic development of the digestive tract in juvenile reared long snout seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus. Fish Physiol Biochem. doi: 10.1007/s10695-013-9881-8
  31. Payne MF, Rippingale RJ (2000) Rearing West Australian seahorse Hippocampus subelongatus, juveniles on copepod nauplii and enriched Artemia. Aquaculture 188:353–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Storero LP, Gonzalez R (2009) Prey selectivity and trophic behavior of the patagonian seahorse, Hippocampus patagonicus, in captivity. J World Aquac Soc 40:394–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Teixeira RL, Musick JA (2001) Reproduction and food habits of the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus (Teleostei: Syngnathidae) of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Rev Bras Biol 6:79–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vincent ACJ (1996) The international trade in seahorses. TRAFFIC International, Cambridge, p 163Google Scholar
  35. Vincent ACJ, Koldewey HJ (2006) An uncertain future for seahorse aquaculture in conservation and economic contexts. In: Proceedings of the Regional Technical Consultation of Stock Enhancement for Threatened Species of International Concern. Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. 13–15 July 2005. Iloilo City, Philippines, pp 71–84, 149Google Scholar
  36. Vite-Garcia N, Simoes N, Arjona O, Mascaro M (2014) Palacios E (2014) Growth and survival of Hippocampus erectus (Perry, 1810) juveniles fed on Artemia with different HUFA levels. Lat Am J Aquat Res 42:150–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Watanabe T, Kitajima C, Fujita S (1983) Nutritional values of live organisms used in Japan for mass propagation of fish: a review. Aquaculture 34:115–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Watanabe T, Takeuchi T, Saito M, Nishimura K (1984) Effect of low protein-high calorie or essential fatty acid deficiency diet on reproduction of rainbow trout. Nipp Suis Gak 50:1023–1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Willadino L, Souza-Santos LP, Melo RCS, Brito AP, Barros NCS, Araujo-Castro CMV, Galvao DB, Gouveia A, Regis CG, Cavalli RO (2012) Ingestion rate, survival and growth of newly released seahorse Hippocampus reidi fed exclusively on cultured live food items. Aquaculture 360–361:10–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Woods CMC (2002) Natural diet of the seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis. N Z J Mar Freshw Res 36:655–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Woods CMC (2005) Growth of cultured seahorses (Hippocampus abdominalis) in relation to feed ration. Aquac Int 13:305–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Woods CMC, Valentino F (2003) Frozen mysids as an alternative to live Artemia in culturing seahorses Hippocampus abdominalis. Aquac Res 34:757–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelah Mae A. Buen-Ursua
    • 1
  • Teruo Azuma
    • 1
  • Katsutoshi Arai
    • 2
  • Relicardo M. Coloso
    • 1
  1. 1.Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD)TigbauanPhilippines
  2. 2.Graduate School of Fisheries SciencesHokkaido UniversityHakodateJapan

Personalised recommendations