Is it an egg?

This wonderful photo, which shows White's Seahorses mating, was taken by Nicolas and Léna Remy.
They stated, "These 2 seahorses were mating and transferring eggs. Wondering if the pink dot next to the male's pouch would be an egg."
I replied according to my limited knowledge but as is often the case, there are experts in the Australasian Fishes community. At-tagging these people led to a very informative reply from Dr Dave Harasti, who wrote, "The pink dot on the female is definitely an egg being transferred into the male's flaccid pouch. Normally there is a 'chain' of eggs that can be seen during the transfer and they are always pink in H. whitei, not sure about the colour in other species."
Looking back through my file of noteworthy observations, I found this observationof a small male Bigbelly Seahorse with freshly deposited eggs, some of which are on the belly outside the pouch. These eggs are orange rather than pink.
So, here's the next challenge. Does anyone have images of other species of seahorses in the process of egg transfer? Let's see if we can document fresh egg colouration for other species of seahorses in Australia and New Zealand.
Thank you, Nicolas and Léna for uploading such an interesting observation. :)
Posted by markmcg markmcg, August 19, 2021 06:46

Comments

Will check my pics of the West Australian seahorses mating

Posted by tammygibbs 3 months ago (Flag)

Thank you @tammygibbs. :)

Posted by markmcg 3 months ago (Flag)

Wow, what a gorgeous image and interesting observation, nice one @nicolaslenaremy

Posted by amandahay 3 months ago (Flag)

Hi Mark, great post & photo. I’ve posted my photos for you to have a look at, definitely not the same quality as Nicholas & Lena’s unfortunately. Thanks Ken

Posted by ken_flan 3 months ago (Flag)

Thank you @ken_flan for uploading the two new observations,
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/91811717
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/91809453
which show that the eggs are deep orange/red. @daveharasti looks like orange/red (rather than pink in H. whitei) might be the colour of freshly transferred eggs in H. abdominalis.

Posted by markmcg 3 months ago (Flag)

Found some pics of Hippocampus subelongatus transferring eggs and an egg on the outside of the pouch, I've uploaded them here.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/91920853

Posted by tammygibbs 3 months ago (Flag)

Great job @tammygibbs. It looks to me as though the fresh eggs of H. subelongatus are coloured deep orange, similar to H. abdominalis. Thank you for uploading the observation. :) FYI @humuhumufish @daveharasti.

Posted by markmcg 3 months ago (Flag)

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