Reproduction of the white grunt, Haemulon plumieri (Lacépede, 1802) (Pisces: Haemulidae) from Margarita Island, Venezuela
José L. Palazón-Fernández

The grunts (Haemulidae) are an important component of the artisan fisheries in eastern Venezuela, but their biology is poorly known. The object of the present work was to supply basic information about the reproductive biology of Haemulon plumieri in relation to sex ratio, size at maturity, spawning season and fecundity. Samples were collected from the northeast coast of Margarita Island between September 1994 and August 1995. A total of 469 specimens (232 females and 237 males) were examined. Sex ratio did not differ from 1:1 except in February 1995. Minimum size at maturity was 213 mm total length for females and 271 mm total length for males. Size at maturity (L50) was 309 mm total length for females and 357 mm for males. The spawning season extends throughout the year, with peaks in February-April and August-October. Fecundity ranged from 19873 to 535039 eggs, and was related to body length and weight. White grunt was characterised by asynchronous oocyte development and multiple spawning. The weight-length relationship for the sexes differed and showed negative allometry. Condition factor was over 95% during the sampling period, showing minimum values prior to the reproductive peak, which can be interpreted as the result of mobilisation of somatic energy reserves for reproductive development.

Keywords: reproduction, Haemulidae, white grunt, Haemulon plumieri, Venezuela.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 71(3) : 429-440 Back PDF
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