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Spawning patterns in the leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea, in comparison with other aggregating groupers
Erisman, B.E.; Buckhorn, M.L.; Hastings, P.A. (2007). Spawning patterns in the leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea, in comparison with other aggregating groupers. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(5): 1849-1861. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-007-0623-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Erisman, B.E.
  • Buckhorn, M.L.
  • Hastings, P.A.

Abstract
    We documented the spawning patterns of the leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea, from April to June 2005 in the central Gulf of California, Mexico to draw comparisons with other aggregate-spawning groupers and provide information useful for management of their fishery. Adults formed spawning aggregations of 150 to >700 individuals at specific sites, and spawning occurred daily at these sites from late April through early June. Courtship occurred throughout the day, but spawning was restricted to the evening hours. Adults spawned in groups of 6–40 fish, and pair-spawning was not observed. The group-spawning behavior of adults and the gonosomatic indices of mature males (maximum = 7.2%) suggest that sperm competition was present. The site-specificity of leopard grouper spawning aggregations and diel spawning period were typical of most aggregating groupers, and the size and structure of these aggregations was similar to other species in the genus Mycteroperca. Leopard grouper behavior patterns were unusual in that spawning aggregations persisted for extended periods, spawning was not synchronized with the lunar cycle, and adults aggregated during non-spawning periods. The extensive duration and site-specificity of spawning aggregations and the propensity of M. rosacea to form aggregations year-round increases the vulnerability of the species to overfishing. Policies that limit harvest from these aggregations are needed to improve the management of leopard grouper fisheries in the Gulf of California.

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