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Reproductive biology of the Lutjanidae: a review
Grimes, C.B. (1987). Reproductive biology of the Lutjanidae: a review, in: Polovina, J.J. et al. (Ed.) Tropical snappers and groupers: biology and fisheries management. pp. 239-294
In: Polovina, J.J.; Ralston, S. (Ed.) (1987). Tropical snappers and groupers: biology and fisheries management. Westview Press: Boulder. ISBN 0-8133-717-9-1. x, 659 pp., more

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Keywords
    Literature reviews; Sexual reproduction; Lutjanidae Gill, 1861 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Grimes, C.B.

Abstract
    Available information on the reproductive biology of over 40 species of the Lutjanidae found throughout the world's oceans is reviewed. The lutjanids are apparently gonochoristic, there being no histological evidence to the contrary. Population sex ratio as well as sex ratio at size is frequently skewed: however, evidence suggests this results from differential growth and mortality rates between the sexes. Sexual maturity occurs at approximately 40-50% of maximum length. Analysis of covariance of length at maturity (with maximum length as a covariate) revealed that populations and species associated with islands mature at a significantly higher (0.005 >P>0.001) proportion of maximum length (511) than continental species and populations (431). Deep (>91 m) dwelling species and populations mature at a significantly higher (0.005>P>0.001) proportion of maximum size (49%) than shallow (<91 m) species (43%). Lutjanids are highly fecund, with large females producing 5-7 x 106 ova. Two patterns of reproductive seasonality are apparent: continental populations and species exhibit extended summer spawning, and insular populations and species reproduce year round with pulses in spring and fall. Spawning appears to take place at night, sometimes timed to coincide with spring tides at new and full moons. Courtship behavior culminates in an upward spiral swim with gametes released at the apex. Individual fish spawn more than once each reproductive season. Many features of the reproductive biology of the lutjanids (e.g., spawning site preference, spawning seasonality, lunar periodicity, and spawning behavior) appear to be a strategy to introduce gametes into an environment where predation is relatively less intense. However, the strategy must also assure that young juveniles are returned to suitable, but patchy, habitat for settlement.

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