Freret-Meurer, N. V., Alves, M. A. S. 2018. Personality in the longsnout seahorse, Hippocampus reidi Ginsburg, 1933: Are males shyer than females? Behavioural Processes 157, 106-110.
Individual responses, particularly based on personality, can have important consequences for individual fitness, based upon success in exploring new habitats, feeding on novel foods, and aggressiveness in competitive interactions. We conducted laboratory experiments to analyze individual responses to different artificial conditions that could suit specific male and female personalities in the endangered seahorse, Hippocampus reidi. Our experiments with H. reidi evaluated individual responses to a new habitat, novel objects, level of inactivity and social interactions. We demonstrate that approximately half of the seahorses have a bold personality, readily inspecting new habitats and objects and sporadically presenting social approaches. The remaining shy individuals had high levels of inactivity and did not check novelties in their habitats. Although we expected that males would have shyer personalities when compared with females, due to their ecological role in the provision of parental care, we found no statistical difference between the sexes in terms of these aspects of personality. The similar frequency of both types of personality in males and females suggests that these features may be balanced and evolutionarily stable in the sampled population.