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Latin american journal of aquatic research

On-line version ISSN 0718-560X


SILVEIRA, Rosana Beatriz; SILVA, José Clebson da; BENICIO, Lua  and  SILVA, José Rodrigo Santos. Biology of Hippocampus patagonicus (Syngnathidae) in Brazilian waters. A species threatened with extinction, with suggestions for the conservation of seahorses in Brazil. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2020, vol.48, n.1, pp.47-57. ISSN 0718-560X.

Specimens of Hippocampus patagonicus obtained in the bycatch of trawling in the states of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ) were collected in 2012 (n = 199) and 2014 (n = 157), respectively. Mean height of females of reproductive age in RS was 8.89 ± 1.9 cm, with the fecundity of 366 ± 195.8 eggs per clutch, and for males of reproductive age, height was 8.79 ± 1.86 cm and weight 2.3 ± 1.67 g, with 404 ± 99 embryos at each gestation. In RJ, height was 9.69 ± 1.05 cm and weight 2.9 ± 0.9 g, with the fecundity of 277 ± 95.06 eggs per clutch, and for males, height was 10.06 ± 1.02 cm and weight 3.68 ± 1.18 g, with the fecundity of 156.38 ± 66 embryos at each gestation. The equations obtained from the weight (W) to height (H) ratio were: W = 0.002 H3.182, R2 = 0.947 (RS males); W = 0.004 H2.914, R2 = 0.949 (RS females); W = 0.0050 H2.838, R2 = 0.793 (RJ males); W = 0.014 H2.355, R2 = 0.733 (RJ females). RS females produced more eggs (P = 0.023), and males incubated more embryos (P = 0.000) than those of RJ. The mean height of brood pouch formation in males was 4.69 ± 0.48 cm, 95% CI [4.53; 4.86], while the mean height at first sexual maturity was 8.34 cm (95% CI [7.481; 9.046]). Alternative strategies need to be developed for the conservation of H. patagonicus in Brazil.

Keywords : Hippocampus patagonicus; seahorse; bycatch; fishing resources; reproduction; threatened species.

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