Reproductive biology of the finetooth shark (Carcharhinus isodon) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, with evidence of both annual and biennial reproduction

Jeremy M. Higgs, Eric R. Hoffmayer, James A. Sulikowski, William B. Driggers, David A. Stiller, Jill M. Hendon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intraspecific variability in life-history patterns is well documented in elasmobranchs, and defining regionally specific parameters is essential for proper management and sustainability of species. Studies on the reproductive biology of finetooth sharks (Carcharhinus isodon) have noted a potential disparity in periodicity within North American waters. To better define regional variability, the current study collected 1490 finetooth sharks (831 female, 659 male) from the northern Gulf of Mexico. The size-at-maturity was determined to be 995- and 961-mm fork length for females and males respectively. In males, the peak gonadosomatic index (GSI) in March and presence of semen in the seminal vesicles in April suggested spermatogenesis occurs from March to April. In females, ovulation occurred from May to June, with a peak GSI occurring in May and maximum vitellogenic follicle diameter occurring in May and June. Gestation was found to be 11-12 months, with parturition occurring in May and June and a mean brood size was 3.8 ± 0.1 embryos. Of the 50 females examined during the ovulatory period, 32 exhibited annual and 18 exhibited biennial reproductive periodicity. The results from this study will be impactful, because regionally distinct reproductive parameters can now be considered for future assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-708
Number of pages16
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • carcharhinidae
  • elasmobranch
  • life history
  • potential lifetime reproductive output

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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