Scientia Marina, Vol 74, No 3 (2010)

Reproductive biology of the island grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) in the Canary Islands, northwest coast of Africa

Rocío Bustos
Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Ángel Luque
Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

José G. Pajuelo
Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain


This is the first time that the reproductive characteristics of Mycteroperca fusca have been analyzed over the whole area of its distribution, using the parameter of the histological analysis of the gonads. This species is a protogynous hermaphrodite with a marked predominance of females (1:4.9). The males and females displayed marked differences in the distribution of the sizes. The females were distributed over all the size ranges analyzed (229-725 mm total length), whereas the males were observed within the larger sizes, as of 428 mm. One transitional specimen (610 mm total length) was observed. The size at which the females first reached sexual maturity was 335 mm total length whereas the size at which 95% of females reached sexual maturity was 398 mm total length. The average size at which 50% of the females had inverted to the male condition was found to be 678 mm total length. The range of sizes at which the process of sexual inversion took place was broad, between 428 and 725 mm total length. The reproductive period was long, almost covering the annual cycle, although the maximum activity was observed between April and October, with a peak in spawning in June-July.


Mycteroperca fusca; island grouper; sex change; maturity; spawning

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