Scientia Marina, Vol 75, No 2 (2011)

Reproductive biology and embryonic development of Squalus blainvillei in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Vasiliki Kousteni
Department of Biology, Section of Zoology-Marine Biology, University of Athens , Greece

Persefoni Megalofonou
Department of Biology, Section of Zoology-Marine Biology, University of Athens , Greece


A total number of 526 Squalus blainvillei was sampled from the bottom trawl and bottom longline catches in the eastern Mediterranean Sea from December 2004 to December 2009. Females outnumbered males and the overall sex ratio was 1.26:1. Females ranged from 182 to 779 mm in total length and males from 180 to 799 mm. Both females and males showed allometric growth (b > 3) and we found statistically significant differences in the relationship between length and weight. Out of the specimens examined, 36% of females and 63% of males were sexually mature. Males reached sexual maturity at smaller sizes than females. The smallest sexually mature female was 523 mm in total length, while the smallest sexually mature male was 425 mm in total length. Mean length at 50% maturity was estimated at 564.4 mm for females and 457.7 mm for males. Sexually mature specimens of both sexes with mature gonads and high GSI were present in high proportions in every season of the year, which indicates a continuous reproductive cycle. Ovarian oocytes continued to develop throughout gestation. Females carrying near-term embryos had large, equally developed ovarian oocytes, which suggests that they ovulate soon after parturition. Ovarian fecundity ranged from 1 to 7 and uterine fecundity ranged from 1 to 6. Embryo length and yolk sac weight were negatively correlated.


Squalus blainvillei; maturity; fecundity; embryonic development

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