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

Reproductive dynamics of the tiger prawn Penaeus esculentus, and a comparison with P. semisulcatus, in the north-western Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

PJ Crocos

Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38(1) 91 - 102
Published: 1987


The reproductive cycle of female P. esculentus was investigated in the Groote Eylandt region of the Gulf of Carpentaria from August 1983 to March 1985. The minimum size at maturity for P. esculentus was 25 mm carapace length (CL), and 50% of the population were mature at 32 mm CL. The proportion of females which had mated increased sharply above 28 mm CL to a maximum of 80% inseminated in the size range 32-50 mm CL. An index of population egg production, calculated from female abundance, the proportion of females spawning and fecundity with size, was used as an indicator of reproductive output. Egg production tended to be spread throughout the year, but with eggs being produced most consistently in late winter and early spring. Spawning occurred in a limited area within the study area. A comparison of P. esculentus and P. semisulcatus showed that P. esculentus matures at a smaller size (50% at 32 mm CL) than P. semisulcatus (50% at 39 mm CL), fecundity is lower, spawning is nearer inshore and egg production is less strongly seasonal.

© CSIRO 1987

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