Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 2 (2006)

Reproductive biology of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) in north-eastern Mediterranean


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2006.70n2281

Athanassios C. Tsikliras
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Biology, Department of Zoology, Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Greece

Efthimia Antonopoulou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Biology, Department of Zoology, Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Greece

Abstract


The reproductive biology of round sardinella, Sardinella aurita Valenciennes, 1847, was studied for the first time in the north-eastern Mediterranean Sea. Round sardinella has gained much attention lately because of its biomass increase, which might be the result of climatic changes occurring across the Mediterranean Sea. Monthly samples were collected on board commercial purse-seiners for two complete year cycles (September 2000 to August 2002). Round sardinella is a gonochoristic fish. The overall female to male ratio was not statistically different (P=0.34) from unity, although it varied monthly and with the length of the fish. The seasonal changes in the gonadosomatic index and the macroscopic characteristics of gonads showed that round sardinella in the northern Aegean spawns between May and July. Male round sardinella reach first sexual maturity at a smaller total length than females (155.0 and 168.3 mm respectively). Mean absolute fecundity (FA) increased exponentially with body length (FA=0.0949xL4.22) and weight (FA=511.19xW1.02), with an average of ~21,000 oocytes produced per spawning female. Relative fecundity (FR) ranged between 242 and 681 oocytes/g of body weight (average: 445 oocytes/g). The frequency distribution of oocytes showed that round sardinella produces a single batch of oocytes. In general, the reproductive characteristics of round sardinella in the north-eastern Mediterranean Sea differed when compared to stocks from other areas of its distribution.


Keywords


sex-ratio; maturity; fecundity; spawning; round sardinella; Aegean; Mediterranean

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