Reproductive biology of the squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis (Osbeck, 1765), caught off the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil
Keywords:squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis, reproduction, maturity, teleostei
In the present work, specimens of Holocentrus adscensionis, caught off Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil, by small scale artisanal fishing boats, were analyzed with regard to gonad maturation, gonad index, size at first sexual maturity, fecundity, type and time of spawning. Two hundred and three specimens were randomly collected, 102 males and 101 females, resulting in a sex ratio very close to 1:1. Size at first sexual maturity was estimated at 14.6 cm fork length, which is smaller than the most caught size class. Females in final maturation were only recorded from October to March, while the proportion of resting females was the highest in June and July. The seasonal variation of sexual stages, together with the variation of the monthly mean gonad index, with the lowest values for females being recorded from May to July, suggests lower sexual activity for this species during this period of the year, which coincides with winter time. The pattern of ovarian development indicates that spawning is synchronous, with oocytes ripening in more than two groups. It is therefore characterized as a batch spawning. Absolute fecundity ranged from 56274 to 249863 oocytes.
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