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

Reproductive biology, size and age compositions and growth of the batoid Urolophus paucimaculatus, including comparisons with other species of the Urolophidae

William T. White A B and Ian C. Potter A

A Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Division of Science and Engineering, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: wwhite@murdoch.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 56(1) 101-110 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF04225
Submitted: 25 August 2004  Accepted: 14 December 2004   Published: 4 February 2005

Abstract

The biology of Urolophus paucimaculatus in south-western Australian waters has been examined and compared with that of the co-occurring Urolophus lobatus, Trygonoptera personata and Trygonoptera mucosa. These four species represent the only two genera of the Urolophidae. Urolophus paucimaculatus conceives in early/mid-summer and gives birth in late spring/early summer, closely paralleling the situation with U. lobatus. Although Trygonoptera species likewise have a 10–12-month gestation period, they conceive and give birth in late autumn to mid-winter. The marked intergeneric differences in birth time help account for pronounced intergeneric differences in the diets of their newly born young. By birth, Urolophus paucimaculatus attains ~50% of its asymptotic size. The relatively large mean disc width of the four urolophids at birth, i.e. 105–128 mm, accounts for the small litters of these species (1–2 young per litter). Size at maturity and maximal size and age of each species are greater for females than males and are greater for Trygonoptera than Urolophus species. The growth of U. paucimaculatus and the other urolophids throughout pre- and postnatal life can be described by a single smooth growth curve. The maintenance of a constant pattern of growth from conception is remarkable because the diet and behaviour of these elasmobranchs changes radically at parturition.


Acknowledgments

Our gratitude is expressed to G. A. Hyndes, G. A. Sarre, M. E. Platell and S. A. Hesp for help with sampling, and to N. G. Hall and S. A. Hesp for their very constructive comments on the manuscript. The assistance of N. G. Hall with the statistical and quantitative aspects of the paper was particularly valuable. Financial support was provided by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Fisheries WA, and Murdoch University.


References

Babel, J. S. (1967). Reproduction, life history, and ecology of the round stingray, Urolophus halleri Cooper. Fisheries Bulletin of the California Department of Fish and Game 137, 1–104.


Branstetter, S. (1987). Age, growth and reproductive biology of the silky shark, Carcharhinus falciformis, and the scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini, from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Biology of Fishes 19, 161–173.


Cailliet G. M., and Goldman K. J. (2004). Age determination and validation in chondrichthyan fishes. In ‘Biology of Sharks and their Relatives’. (Eds J. C. Carrier, J. A. Musick and M. R. Heithaus.) pp. 399–448. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

Cailliet, G. M. , Natanson, L. J. , Welden, B. A. , and Ebert, D. A. (1985). Preliminary studies on the age and growth of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, using vertebral bands. Memoirs of the Southern Californian Academy of Sciences 9, 49–60.


Edwards, R. R. C. (1980). Aspects of the population dynamics and ecology of the white spotted stingaree, Urolophus paucimaculatus Dixon, in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 31, 459–467.


Hutchins B., and Swainston R. (1986). ‘Sea Fishes of Southern Australia.’ (Swainston Publishing: Perth.)

Hyndes, G. A. , Platell, M. E. , Potter, I. C. , and Lenanton, R. C. J. (1999). Does the composition of the demersal fish assemblages in temperate coastal waters change with depth and undergo consistent seasonal changes? Marine Biology 134, 335–352.
CrossRef |

Kimura, D. K. (1980). Likelihood methods for the von Bertalanffy growth curve. Fishery Bulletin 77, 765–776.


Last P. R., and Compagno L. J. V. (1999). Urolophidae. In ‘FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid Fishes, Chimaeras and Bony Fishes Part 1 (Elopidae to Linophyrnidae)’. (Eds K. E. Carpenter and V. H. Niem.) pp. 1469–1476. (FAO: Rome.)

Last P. R., and Stevens J. D. (1994). ‘Sharks and Rays of Australia.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Lessa, R. , Santana, F. M. , and Hazin, F. H. (2004). Age and growth of the blue shark Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758) off northeastern Brazil. Fisheries Research 66, 19–30.
CrossRef |

Martin, L. K. , and Cailliet, G. M. (1988). Aspects of the reproduction of the bat ray, Myliobatis californica, in central California. Copeia 1988, 754–762.


Platell, M. E. , Potter, I. C. , and Clarke, K. R. (1998). Resource partitioning by four species of elasmobranch (Batoidea: Urolophidae) in coastal waters of temperate Australia. Marine Biology 131, 719–734.
CrossRef |

Simpfendorfer, C. A. (1993). Age and growth of the Australian sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon taylori, from north Queensland, Australia. Environmental Biology of Fishes 36, 233–241.
CrossRef |

Snelson, F. F. , Williams-Hooper, S. E. , and Schmid, T. H. (1988). Reproduction and ecology of the Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina, in Florida coastal lagoons. Copeia 1988, 729–739.


Stroud G. J. (1975). The stingarees Urolophus testaceus (Muller & Henle) 1841 and Urolophus paucimaculatus Dixon 1969 (Batoidea) of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Honours Thesis, Monash University, Melbourne.

White, W. T. , Platell, M. E. , and Potter, I. C. (2001). Relationship between reproductive biology and age composition and growth in Urolophus lobatus (Batoidea: Urolophidae). Marine Biology 138, 135–147.
CrossRef |

White, W. T. , Hall, N. G. , and Potter, I. C. (2002a). Reproductive biology and growth during pre- and postnatal life of Trygonoptera personata and T. mucosa (Batoidea: Urolophidae). Marine Biology 140, 699–712.
CrossRef |

White, W. T. , Hall, N. G. , and Potter, I. C. (2002b). Size and age compositions and reproductive biology of the nervous shark Carcharhinus cautus in a large subtropical embayment, including an analysis of growth during pre- and postnatal. Marine Biology 141, 1153–1164.
CrossRef |



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (18)