Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

William Kaminski, Southampton College

Class Year: 

Project Title: 

Epifaunal Feeding Ecology of the Lined Seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, in Selected Locations in the Chesapeake Bay


Epifaunal prey items in the diet of the Hippocampus erectus were categorized and quantified for four locations in the Chesapeake Bay. Frequency of Occurrence and Mean % Number showed gammarid amphipods to be the primary diet item and the two indices were well correlated. Availability of epifaunal prey in the mouths of the Patuxent and York Rivers was sampled and selectivity indices were calculated for the two locations. The Strauss Index was found to be most useful for the current research, while the Ivlev Index and Forage Ratio are better descriptors of prey selectivity with a more complete sample. Due to its symmetrical values, the Ivlev Index is preferable over the Forage Ratio.