REPRODUCTION IN SEAHORSES
- The female seahorse lays her eggs into a pouch located on the ventral surface of the male.
(This is not always done without mishap). The male then fertlizies and broods the eggs.
- The female seahorse can lay about 200 eggs.
- Inside the pouch the young are nourshied by their father's blood supply, until they are fully formed young juveniles.
- The young leave the pouch between 4 and 6 weeks after fertilization.
- The male gives birth by writhing to and fro and flexing the pouch muscles, forcing the young fish out on their own.
The vigorous muscular spasms may expel the young with considerable velocity. In some larger species, the male helps the young seahorses escape his pouch by rubbing his abdomen against a rock.
- After "birth" the male flushes out his brood sac by expansion and contraction to expel egg remains and other debris to prepare for the next breeding season.
- Three broods a year are possible.