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ssh-agent remembers the passphrase so you not need to type it every time you connect or to the server. Note that IdentityFile and IdentitiesOnly prevent use of ssh-agent.

Mac: Apple Keychain

When you access an encrypted ssh private key in Mac OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” and earlier, Mac OS X prompts you to save its passphrase (encrypted) in the Apple keychain. From then on your private key will be automatically decrypted and available on request. When this is working, "ssh-add -l" should show at least one key available on your Mac or Linux system. After you "ssh -A" to another host with agent forwarding, "ssh-add -l" should show the same key(s) available as on your local desktop.