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Reproductive strategies in black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839) from the NE Atlantic
Ana Neves, Ana Rita Vieira, Inês Farias, Ivone Figueiredo, Vera Sequeira and Leonel Serrano Gordo

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.

Keywords: black scabbardfish, skipped spawning, fecundity, atresia, Portugal.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 73S2 : 19-31 Back PDF
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