Rare seahorse found

PUBLISHED: 01:01 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:53 10 June 2010

A RARE seahorse sucked up in an Exmouth mussel catcher in the River Exe has been re-homed with the Seahorse Trust for its vital breeding programme. The spiny seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) was found by Exmouth Mussels' mussel elevator machine as it su

A RARE seahorse sucked up in an Exmouth mussel catcher in the River Exe has been re-homed with the Seahorse Trust for its vital breeding programme. The spiny seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) was found by Exmouth Mussels' mussel elevator machine as it sucked along the river bed near Starcross. The brown-coloured visitor is now one of 10 spiny seahorses in captivity which will be used in a breeding programme to increase their numbers.Exmouth Mussels' owner Myles Blood-Smyth said: "One of the blokes said it came up the elevator."Believing the four-inch-long seahorse was a special find, staff at Exmouth Mussels temporarily re-homed their rare catch in their aquarium before contacting Neil Garrick-Maidment, of the Seahorse Trust, based at Escot, near Ottery St Mary.Mr Garrick-Maidment said the seahorse was a protected species - so the area of the river where it was found would now also be protected."It's quite amazing. It's an unusual find," said Mr Garrick-Maidment. "When she came in, she wasn't very well, but we have nursed her back to health."The spiny seahorses are hard to find because, as their name suggests, they are spiny and like to hide away.Said Mr Garrick-Maidment: "She's going to be absolutely invaluable to the breeding programme. There are only a few males at the moment so we will probably have to rotate them around. It's the males that get pregnant."For more information about the spiny seahorse visit:www.britishseahorsesurvey.org

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