Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Age and growth of the banded guitarfish Zapteryx exasperata (Chondrichthyes: Trygonorrhinidae)

Fabián Cervantes-Gutiérrez A , Javier Tovar-Ávila B and Felipe Galván-Magaña A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Avenida IPN s/n, Colonia Playa Palo de Santa Rita, La Paz, Baja California Sur, CP 23096, México.

B Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera, Bahía de Banderas (INAPESCA), Calle Tortuga #1, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, CP 63732, México.

C Corresponding author. Email: galvan.felipe@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16403
Submitted: 4 December 2016  Accepted: 12 May 2017   Published online: 28 July 2017

Abstract

The banded guitarfish (Zapteryx exasperata) is the third most abundant ray species in the artisanal elasmobranch fishery of Baja California Sur, Mexico. However, there is no biological information about its age and growth parameters, limiting the application of some quantitative population assessment methods, such as demographic models. The aim of the present study was to estimate, for the first time, age and individual growth of Z. exasperata. Biometric data from 244 individuals and 236 vertebrae were analysed. The largest number of banded guitarfish in fishery landings was observed during April and August, with a female : male sex ratio of 1 : 1.8. The size range was 56.4–103-cm total length (TL) for females and 51.6–92 cm TL for males, with females being significantly larger than males (P < 0.05). The periodicity of the vertebral edge suggests that growth band pairs form annually. The estimated age structure was 5–22.6 years for females and 4–19.6 years for males, with significant differences between sexes (P < 0.01). The goodness-of-fit of three models was evaluated. For the von Bertalanffy growth model, the parameters were as follows. For females: theoretical maximum length, L = 100.71 cm TL; growth coefficient, k = 0.144 year–1; and theoretical age at length zero, t0 = –0.39 years. For males: L = 89.78 cm TL; k = 0.174 year–1; and t0 = –0.65 years.

Additional keywords: age structure, elasmobranchs, fisheries management.


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