Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No S2 (2009)

Reproductive strategies in black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839) from the NE Atlantic


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2009.73s2019

Ana Neves
Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Ana Rita Vieira
Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Inês Farias
Unidade de Recursos Marinhos e Sustentabilidade, IPIMAR, Portugal

Ivone Figueiredo
Unidade de Recursos Marinhos e Sustentabilidade, IPIMAR, Portugal

Vera Sequeira
Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Leonel Serrano Gordo
Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract


Gonads of the NE Atlantic black scabbardfish were examined to give an insight into the reproductive biology of this species. It was concluded that black scabbardfish had determinate fecundity because: (i) a distinct hiatus in oocyte size was observed between pre-vitellogenic and vitellogenic oocytes; (ii) vitellogenic oocytes increased in size during the spawning season; (iii) the number of vitellogenic oocytes did not increase during the spawning season; and (iv) the intensity of atresia was low in pre-spawning and spawning ovaries. Fecundity estimates ranged from 73 to 373 oocytes g-1 female. Comparison of developing ovaries from mainland Portugal and Madeira revealed that those from Madeira were more advanced in development, with more cortical alveoli stage oocytes and a higher gonadosomatic index. Starting in July, the reproductive development of all females from mainland Portugal was interrupted by a generalised atresia of developing oocytes. Completion of gametogenesis and spawning only occurred for fish from Madeira but some fish from this area also failed to complete oocyte development due to mass follicular atresia of vitellogenic oocytes. The percentage of Madeiran fish that failed to spawn due to follicular atresia ranged from 21.2% in 2006 to 37.4% in 2005.

Keywords


black scabbardfish; skipped spawning; fecundity; atresia; Portugal

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