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

Reproductive demography of a temperate protogynous and herbivorous fish, Odax pullus (Labridae, Odacini)

E. D. L. Trip A B E , D. Raubenheimer C , K. D. Clements A and J. H. Choat D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Ecology and Evolution, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

B Present address: (1) King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and (2) Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

C Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

D School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: elizabeth.lamantrip@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research 62(2) 176-186 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF10238
Submitted: 10 September 2010  Accepted: 28 December 2010   Published: 24 February 2011

Abstract

A common view is that, in marine fishes, herbivory and sex change are subject to physiological constraints at high latitudes, which are likely to affect growth rates and reproductive outputs. The present study examines the reproductive demography of Odax pullus, an herbivorous and protogynous species of temperate New Zealand. We establish an otolith-based methodology for age estimation and investigate sex-specific growth, longevity and age-based reproductive events. Individuals achieved a maximum age of 11 years, reached 85% of adult body size (455 mm FL) within the first 3.5 years of life, were sexually mature by the age of 1.1–1.5 years and changed sex at 2.8–3.5 years, indicating fast simultaneous somatic and reproductive growth. There was no significant difference in growth or body size between the sexes. Ovary weight of spawning females increased significantly with size and age, suggesting the presence of size- and age-fecundity skews underlying the absence of sex change in larger and older females. Testes of reproductively active males comprised less than 1% of bodyweight, suggesting pair-spawning and little sperm competition. The present study provides metrics to support comparisons of the demography of this temperate protogynous and herbivorous labrid across spatial or temporal strata.

Additional keywords: butterfish, edge type analysis, mating system, oxytetracycline, relative gonad weight, reparameterised von Bertalanffy growth function, size- and age-at-maturity, size- and age-at-sex change.


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