A sedentary fish on the move: effects of displacement on long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus Cuvier) movement and habitat use

Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication: 2013

Authors: Caldwell, IR, Vincent ACJ

Journal: Environmental Biology of Fishes

Volume: 96

Issue: 1

Pagination: 67-75

ISSN: 1573-5133

Keywords: acoustic telemetry, Marine conservation, Relocating, syngnathid, tagging, welfare


To understand how a sedentary fish responds to displacement and identify key habitat characteristics for that fish, we translocated long-snouted seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus) within their natural habitat but far beyond their home range. After displacement, we located these small fish using acoustic technology and collected environmental data where we captured, released, and relocated them. Displaced fish (n = 9) moved much greater distances (max: 150 m; mean daily: 6.4–48.2 m) than expected from known home range movements and there was no evidence of homing. Seahorses varied in the specific environments they moved towards but tended to move towards environments more similar in both depth and water current speed to their original capture locations than their release locations.

DOI: 10.1007/s10641-012-0023-4

Short Title: Environ Biol Fish