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


  • Ana Neves Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
  • Ana Rita Vieira Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
  • Inês Farias Unidade de Recursos Marinhos e Sustentabilidade, IPIMAR
  • Ivone Figueiredo Unidade de Recursos Marinhos e Sustentabilidade, IPIMAR
  • Vera Sequeira Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
  • Leonel Serrano Gordo Departamento de Biologia Animal and Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa



black scabbardfish, skipped spawning, fecundity, atresia, Portugal


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.


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How to Cite

Neves A, Vieira AR, Farias I, Figueiredo I, Sequeira V, Serrano Gordo L. Reproductive strategies in black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839) from the NE Atlantic. scimar [Internet]. 2009Dec.31 [cited 2023May31];73(S2):19-31. Available from:




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