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The life history characteristics of Neosebastes pandus and the relationship between sexually dimorphic growth and reproductive strategy among Scorpaeniformes

Coulson, P.G. (2020) The life history characteristics of Neosebastes pandus and the relationship between sexually dimorphic growth and reproductive strategy among Scorpaeniformes. Journal of Fish Biology . Early View.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14557
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Abstract

Scorpaeniformes are an important component of commercial and recreational fisheries world‐wide. The Neosebastes species, found in the western Pacific and south‐east Indian Ocean, have received little attention from a research perspective. Samples of the bighead gurnard perch, Neosebastes pandus, collected from the lower west and south coasts of Western Australia, were used to undertake the first comprehensive investigation of the biological characteristics of a Neosebastes species. Opaque zones in sectioned sagittal otoliths were validated as forming annually. Female N. pandus grow to a significantly larger size, on average, than males and dominate the largest size classes, while males, growing to a smaller size, accumulate in the intermediate size classes. Although males were far less numerous than females in those age classes in which both sexes were found, males and females attain similar maximum ages >25 years. Neosebastes pandus spawns over a brief period between May (austral late autumn) and July (austral mid‐autumn) when water temperature and day length are declining. The mean monthly gonadosomatic indices (GSI, IGS) values of females during the spawning period are 37–50 times higher than those of males, which mature at an earlier age and smaller length compared to females. Histological examination of the ovaries of females indicate that their structure is consistent with “general” teleost ovarian anatomy and thus differs from Scorpaena, Helicolenus and Sebastes species whose ovaries are adapted for specialized reproductive modes. The reproductive strategy of N. pandus of maximizing the reproductive output of females, by this sex attaining a larger size than males and pair spawning (i.e., large disparity in IGS values) demonstrates the close lineage between the Neosebastes and other Scorpaeniformes, such as the Scorpaena, Helicolenus and Sebastes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2020 Fisheries Society of the British Isles
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/58340
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