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Sea horses and Pipe fishes of the Tamil Nadu coast

Murugan, A and Dhanya, S and Rajagopal, S and Balasubramanian, T (2008) Sea horses and Pipe fishes of the Tamil Nadu coast. Current Science, 95 (2). pp. 253-260.

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Abstract

This study provides baseline information on the abundance and identification of seahorses and pipefishes of the Tamil Nadu coast. Monthly sampling for seahorses and pipefishes from the by-catch was made during 2000-01 at 15 landing centres along the Tamil nadu coast. Five species of seahorses belonging to one genus and seven species of pipefishes belonging to four general were recorded. Hippocampus kelloggi and Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus were recorded for the first time in the Indian waters. H. kelloggi was abundant in the Coromandel coast, H. kuda in the Palk bay and H. trimaculatus in the Gulf of Mannar. H. fuscus was absent in the Coromandel coast and H. kelloggi was not recorded in the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar. Seagrasses, seaweeds and dead corals were the preferred habitat of seahorses. H. kelloggi was recorded at 10-20 m depth and the others were found at depths less than 10 m. Abundance of seahorses was more in the Palk bay than in the Gulf of Mannar and the Coromandel coast. Area-wise and species-wise abundance of seahorses was maximum during northeast monsson and minimum during summer. In all, 104,018 seahorses were collected from the by-catches, comprising 34 % H. trimaculatus, 29 % H. kuda, 19% H. spinosissimus, 9 % H. kelloggi and 9 % H. fuscus. This 2000-01 survey on the abundance of seahorses may serve as a yardstick to assess the impact of the excavation and subsequent navigation of the Sethu Canal. With preference to seagrasses and seaweeds, the pipefish syngnathoides biaculeatus was the most common species in the shallow coast. In the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Manar, the percentage composition of S. biaceleatus was more than that of seahorses, while seahorses constituted more than 78 % of the total syngnathid landings of the Coromandel coast. Other pipeifhs species were rare along the Tamil nadu coast.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Abundance; by-catch; identification, pipe-fishes; seahorses
Subjects: Oceanography > marine biology
Divisions: Annamalai Univ - Marine Biology
Depositing User: CASMB
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2010 04:00
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2010 07:41
URI: http://moeseprints.incois.gov.in/id/eprint/56

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