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

Comparison of the life histories of three co-occurring wrasses (Teleostei: Labridae) in coastal waters of south-eastern Australia

Jason K. Morton A B D , William Gladstone B , Julian M. Hughes C and John Stewart C

A Department of Science and Mathematics, Avondale College, PO Box 19, Cooranbong NSW 2265, Australia.

B School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle (Ourimbah Campus), PO Box 127, Ourimbah NSW 2258, Australia.

C New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence, PO Box 21, Cronulla NSW 2230, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: Jason.Morton@avondale.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 59(7) 560-574 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF07216
Submitted: 14 November 2007  Accepted: 26 April 2008   Published: 24 July 2008

Abstract

Labrids are abundant on temperate rocky reefs yet their life histories are poorly known. Three co-occurring Australian labrids (Ophthalmolepis lineolatus, Notolabrus gymnogenis and Pictilabrus laticlavius) exhibited protogynous hermaphroditism typical of labrids. Juveniles reached sexual maturity at 184 mm total length (TL) (2.1 years) in O. lineolatus, 177 mm TL (1.8 years) in N. gymnogenis and <95 mm TL (<0.9 years) in P. laticlavius. Individuals were sexually active initial phase females until changing to a terminal phase male at 295 mm TL (5.2 years) in O. lineolatus, 273 mm TL (4.5 years) in N. gymnogenis and 138 mm TL (2.0 years) in P. laticlavius. The occurrence of males only at greater lengths and older ages suggests that O. lineolatus and N. gymnogenis are monandrous, whereas P. laticlavius appears to be diandrous. Reproduction was asynchronous among species with reproductive activity peaking in January–March for O. lineolatus, April–October for N. gymnogenis and October–December for P. laticlavius. Sectioned otoliths revealed that O. lineolatus and N. gymnogenis grew rapidly to 300 mm TL (6 years) and P. laticlavius to 180 mm TL (3 years). Longevity was at least 13.8, 9.6 and 4.8 years respectively. These life history data will aid management of these frequently harvested species.

Additional keywords: ageing, growth, hermaphrodite, labrid, otolith, protogyny, reproduction, temperate fish.


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