Scientia Marina, Vol 64, No 1 (2000)

Reproduction of the cutlassfish Trichiurus lepturus in the southern Brazil subtropical convergence ecosystem

Agnaldo Silva Martins
Departamento de Ecologia e Recursos Naturais, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil

Manuel Haimovici
Departamento de Oceanografia, Fundação Universidade do Rio Grande, Brazil


The reproduction of the cutlassfish Trichiurus lepturus was studied from samples collected in bottom trawl surveys on the continental shelf and shelf break off southern Brazil. The mean total length (LT) at first gonadal maturity was 63.9 cm for males and 69.3 cm for females. Batch fecundity ranged from 3,917 in a specimen of 70 cm LT to 154,216 in a specimen of 141 cm but the number of spawning batches in each season was not established. Spawning occurs in late spring and summer in the continental shelf and probably year round over the shelf break. High surface temperatures and moderate stratification of the water column were associated with the final stages of gonadal maturation. Seasonal and spatial differences in sex ratios, sizes, maturity stages and feeding intensities suggest that adult female T. lepturus remain during the cold season in the continental shelf of southern Brazil to feed, while adult males move to warmer waters northward or offshore.


Batch Fecundity; gonadal maturity; sex ratios; spawning; Trichiurus

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