Black sea sea horse

This original small fish from the family of needle can be considered one of the most unusual creatures of the sea. Unusual body shape resembling a figure of a horse from chess, the original bearing try. males, especially masking, nutrition and behavior — all these traits inherent in our black sea seahorses.

Currently there are about 30 species of seahorses that inhabit the coastal waters of tropical and subtropical seas. However, they are found in the North sea (off the southern coast of England).

In the Black and Azov seas inhabited the ridge, which ichthyologists are called a long name “seahorse spinner the black sea”, sometimes adding more “European”.

The original appearance of this fish in due time led to the fact that each tourist visiting the black sea coast, tried to take home as a souvenir instance a dried seahorse. In the 1980-early 1990-XX years, with some individuals hundreds of thousands of individuals skate, recreational areas (on the South coast) almost disappeared, so in 1994 the black sea seahorse included in the Red book of Ukraine, fishing is prohibited.

The shape (external structure). The name of the fish (“horse”) comes from this “horse” appearance of the Hippocampus. The head of the seahorse is at right angles to the body (this does not observed none of the other marine life). And fish able to move its head up and down — ability, motoroleriu almost all modern fish species.

The body of the ridge is covered with scales, and with special bone plates are so durable that they are hard to break, even the dead and dried fish. On the body of the horse found numerous long spines, leathery protuberances, which perfectly camouflage him among the algae and protect them from predators. The snout of the fish is elongated, tubular mouth.

The seahorse tail is elongated, devoid of blades. The skate can bend it and collapse the ring to retain the fish’s body among the thickets of sea grass.

In the middle of the back of the skate has a tiny dorsal fin, no pelvic fins, and under the head can be seen two small fin corresponding to the pectoral fins of fishes.

The eyes of the horse independently from each other looking in different directions, covering the sector nearly 300 degrees (like a chameleon). And, like the chameleon, the fish is able to quickly change the color of your body is grayish-brown, reddish to yellow, brownish green, etc.

Another interesting feature of the seahorse is its ability to swim. vertically. About the use of seahorses as effective drugs wrote Pliny the Elder, indicating that to prevent hair loss is necessary to lubricate the head with a compound made from a mixture of dried seahorses, resin, maioranos oils and fats. English magazine (Gentlemen’s Magazine* in 1754, advised nursing mothers to take extract of seahorses “best for the expiry of milk”.

Some features of biology and ecology.

Reproduction. The seahorses and sea eagle women’s most important work — the nurturing of offspring do. fathers. The males have the ventral side of the body has a egg sack, which is formed by two folds of skin on the sides of the fish. Sea skate egg the edges of the bag after filling it with caviar (what do you do usually several females) are overgrown, the inner walls of the resulting leathery camera impaled blood vessels, supplying the eggs with oxygen. A so-called a brood chamber. The male fertilizes the eggs.

The fertility of 5-6 cm females can range from 10 to 350 eggs, while starsevery Noi, 10-12 cm, to reach 650 or more eggs.

Usually spawns in the seahorse occurs from may and lasts till September. At this time mass fish approach the shore to depths of 2-4 m.

With the beginning of “pregnant” males severely limit his walks through underwater forests. The male is kept on a land area of 1 sq. m. the Female leaves the spawning area to not be food competition “breastfeeding dad”.

In the brood chamber of the male eggs develop for about 3-5 weeks, after which “handbag” new seahorses — tiny exact copies of their parents. Sometimes “birth” happen is hard, and until the last of the “foals” will leave the brood pouch, it may take several days. Sometimes the males die from exhaustion, and if the “bag” for some reason, the embryos die, death waits and poor dad.

Immediately after the birth of little skates must rise to the water surface and collect air in their swim bladders, so as not to die from suffocation.

Food. The young of the seahorse feeds mainly on small planktonic crustaceans, scurrying between thickets of underwater vegetation.

Skates hunting their prey from ambush, sucking crustaceans and juvenile fish with tubular stigmas that acts as a pump. Its originality seahorse zoologists was causing a lot of trouble. For example, the Frenchman Guillaume the Rondel, the first who published a large work on sea fish, in desperation in his classification enrolled him as a cross between insects and soofiani, i.e. coelenterates.

Age, height and body weight. In the Black and Mediterranean seas seahorse can live for 4-5 years. At this age it reaches the length of 12-18 cm, but in recent years the maximum size of this rare fish off the coast of southern coast of Crimea, near Sevastopol and Evpatoria not exceed 13 cm with a weight up to 10 g.

Ethology (behavior). Seahorses can be found in the open water of seas or bays with salinity more than 12%. The most commonly adheres to the depths of 5-7 meters, preferring sandy or rocky bottom with the obligatory presence of underwater vegetation. Skates choose places quiet; the strong current they do not like.

Often can be transported during storms ripped from the bottom of the vegetation considerable distances.

Black-sea seahorse is a poor swimmer, and prefers a sedentary lifestyle. 90% of the time in ambushes and hiding, clinging to the grass blade flexible tail.

Kept alone or in small groups of 3-5 individuals.

In a moment of danger seahorses can speed up the movement, flapping the fins up to 35 times/sec.

Amateur fishing. On hook tackle, this fish is not caught, and the manual collection of seahorses in the Black sea waters of Ukraine is forbidden (Red book of Ukraine, 1994). Moreover, in European Red list, the International Red book today included 30 species of skates, nearly all of the species known to science.

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