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Life cycle characteristics of the Blue Morwong Nemadactylus valenciennesi, compared with those of other species of Cheilodactylidae

Coulson, P.G., Hesp, S.A., Potter, I.C. and Hall, N.G. (2010) Life cycle characteristics of the Blue Morwong Nemadactylus valenciennesi, compared with those of other species of Cheilodactylidae. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61 (1). pp. 104-118.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF08341
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Abstract

The demonstration by this study that the life cycle characteristics of the reef fish Nemadactylus valenciennesi differed markedly from those of other cheilodactylids led us to compare these differences and hypothesise on their evolutionary implications. The distribution, length and age compositions, growth and the length and age at maturity of N. valenciennesi in south-western Australian waters have been determined. The maximum age (21 years) of N. valenciennesi (maximum total length = 984 mm) is far less than those of the much smaller Cheilodactylus fuscus, Nemadactylus macropterus (both ∼40 years) and Cheilodactylus spectabilis (97 years). Yet N. valenciennesi, N. macropterus and C. spectabilis mature at a similar young age (3-7 years). While, on the basis of data for other species, all three species mature at lengths consistent with their asymptotic lengths, the last two species mature at a far earlier age than would be predicted from their long life spans. The early attainment of maturity by N. macropterus and C. spectabilis may reflect a response to high juvenile mortality or constrained adult growth, whereas their long life spans could reflect a response to variable recruitment in the past or compensation for limited annual reproductive output due to very constrained adult growth.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: 2010 CSIRO
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/4247
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