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Reproductive biology of winter-spring spawners of Illex argentinus (Cephalopoda: Ommastrephidae) off Southern Brazil
R.A. Santos and M. Haimovici

The reproduction and fecundity of winter-spring spawners of the shortfin squid Illex argentinus off southern Brazil (27°S-34°S) were studied in samples from bottom trawl surveys on the outer shelf and upper slope from 1986 to 1992. The mantle length-total weight relationships were for males: TW = 0.00002456 ML2.974 for females: TW = 0.00004265 ML 2.842 and pooled: TW = 0.00005376 ML 2.809. Males were heavier than females at the same ML. Fully mature squids were found from July to October. Mantle length and total weight of fully mature males ranged from 188 to 296 mm (mean 252.2 mm) and 195.5 to 611 g (mean 382.7 g) and for females from 225 to 356 mm (mean 307.4 mm) and 234 to 772 g (mean 558.4 g). Total weight was maximum at full maturity and decreased in the subsequent stages of both sexes. Mean weight and mean major axis length of ripe oocytes in the oviducts were 0.48 mg (sd= 0.10 mg) and 1.27 mm (sd= 0.08 mm), respectively. Total and oviduct mean fecundities, in thousands of oocytes larger than 0.4 mm, in ten fully mature females (294-336 mm ML) were 177.2 (93.0 to 294.3) and 118.4 (51.5 to 233.9), respectively. Spawning season in this region seems to be more protracted than in higher latitudes. Our results suggest that a northward migration could take place prior to spawning and that in winter and spring, southern Brazil may be a major spawning ground of Illex argentinus that contributes to the local and to the Uruguay and northeastern Argentina recruitment.

Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 61(1) : 53-64 Back PDF
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