Reproductive biology of the sea cucumber Holothuria sanctori (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)
Pablo G. Navarro, Sara García-Sanz and Fernando Tuya
The reproductive biology of the sea cucumber Holothuria sanctori was studied over 24 months (February 2009 to January 2011) at Gran Canaria through the gonad index and a combination of macro- and microscopic analysis of the gonads. Holothuria sanctori showed a 1:1 sex ratio and a seasonal reproductive cycle with a summer spawning: the mean gonad index showed a maximum (3.99±0.02) in summer (June-July) and a minimum (0.05±0.04) between late autumn (November) and early spring (March). Females had significantly wider gonad tubules than males. First maturity occurred at a size of 201 to 210 mm, a gutted body weight of 101 to 110 g and a total weight of 176 to 200 g. Holothuria sanctori shows a typical temperate species reproduction pattern. These results could be useful for managing current extractions of H. sanctori in the Mediterranean and in case a specific fishery is started in the eastern Atlantic region.