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Norfolk woman finds pregnant seahorse clinging to her oyster cage

On Earth Day, Amy Flora found the little guy hanging onto one of her oyster cages in the Lafayette River.
Credit: Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Amy Flora, of Norfolk, found this pregnant seahorse clinging to her oyster cage in the Lafayette River.

NORFOLK, Va. — Amy Flora raises oysters for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 

When she went out to check on the cages at her Lafayette River home on Earth Day, she found more than the bubbling shellfish she expected.

Flora said a pregnant, male seahorse was clinging to one of her cages.

That may sound strange, but after mating, male seahorses carry the Hippocampus' young in a special pouch on their stomachs. The female's job is only to deposit her eggs.

Flora, of Norfolk, said this little guy was almost ready to "pop."

She named him Colley, and after shortly observing him in a tank, released him back into the oyster reef near her home.

Kenny Fletcher, the media and communications coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said this was a welcome sign of aquatic life in the area.

"This is more proof that the oyster cages gardeners use create good habitat for seahorses and other aquatic life like fish and crabs," Fletcher wrote in a Friday release. "The oysters raised by Amy and other volunteer gardeners with the Bay Foundation will eventually be planted on protected sanctuary reefs, where they’ll create even more habitat."

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