Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 251–259 | Cite as

Evoked potential audiogram of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus (Perry), in terms of sound pressure and particle acceleration

  • Paul A. Anderson
  • David A. Mann


The hearing sensitivity of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus (Perry), was determined for both sound pressure and particle acceleration using the auditory evoked potential (AEP) technique. Hippocampus erectus demonstrates hearing sensitivity typical of historically characterized hearing generalist fishes, with best sensitivities below 600 Hz and maximum sensitivities of 105.0 ± 1.5 dB SPL (re: 1 μPa) and 3.46 × 10−3 ± 7.64 × 10−4 m s−2 at 200 Hz. The shapes of the audiograms for each modality are similar, suggesting relative similarity in sensitivity between modalities for a given frequency. In light of the importance of broadband sound in the acoustic landscape of this fish’s environment, and broadband conspecific sound production that may be used in intraspecific acoustic communication, audition to broadband sounds was also estimated. Maximum broadband sensitivity at 200 Hz is estimated to be 92.0 ± 1.5 dB SPL (re: 1 μPa) and 7.73 × 10−4 ± 1.71 × 10−4 m s−2.


Evoked potential Audiogram Hippocampus erectus Seahorse Acoustic Particle acceleration 



Many thanks to B. Casper, M. Hill Cook, R. Hill, and J. Locascio (University of South Florida) for guidance with AEP methodology, A. Noxon (Acoustic Sciences Corporation), who shared soundproofing design concepts, R. Shrivastav (University of Florida) and J. Pattee (Pioneer Hill Software) for guidance with sound analysis, P. Perkins (Florida Aquarium) for illustrations provided in Figs. 1 and 2, and W.J. Lindberg, D. Murie, D. Parkyn, C. St. Mary (University of Florida), I. Berzins (Florida Aquarium), H. Masonjones (University of Tampa), and two anonymous reviewers, who provided constructive criticism for improvement of the manuscript.

Seahorses were donated by Above the Reef and R. Stevens, his crew, and the Twin Rivers Marina. Live brine shrimp was donated by Sea Critters, Inc. P. Anderson was supported by the University of Florida Alumni Fellowship, the Morris Animal Foundation, The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation, The Spurlino Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Animal collection was authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Special Activities License #05SR-944 and husbandry and experimental protocols were authorized by the University of Florida IACUC Protocol #D-432, by the University of South Florida IACUC Protocol #2118, and by the Florida Aquarium Animal Care and Use Committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IFAS/SFRC Program in Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.College of Marine ScienceUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Center for ConservationThe Florida AquariumTampaUSA

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