Lined seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) can found in the Western Atlantic from the waters off Cape Cod through Argentina. And just like all seahorses, the male lined seahorses gives birth. The female gives him 250 – 650 eggs after mating. Then the male carries the fertilized eggs for about 20 days until he’s ready to release the live offspring into the water column (watch the amazing video below). In the wild, breeding typically happens from May to October, triggered by the warmer water temperatures. But the seahorses at the Aquarium don’t really have a breeding season. Rather, they tend to breed whenever the staff turn up the temperature in their tank.

Watch video of a seahorse birth!

Seahorse Dad Gives Birth

Aquarists carefully collected the babies in the video and moved them to a separate exhibit so they could grow up without the danger of becoming someone’s lunch. It takes baby seahorses about 9 months to grow as big as their parents. Eventually, they will be too big for this exhibit and will need to be moved behind the scenes until they can join their parents. So catch them while you can! And be sure to look for their relatives throughout the Aquarium.

tiny baby seahorses hold onto grasses
The baby seahorses in their separate, safe exhibit

There’s more!