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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.


Regional differences in the reproductive parameters of the sparsely-spotted stingaree Urolophus paucimaculatus from south-eastern Australia.

Fabian Trinnie, Terry Walker, Paul Jones, Laurie Laurenson

Abstract

Whether spatial variation occurs in the life history traits of chondrichthyan species is important to fisheries modelling and assessments. A study on the reproductive cycle of Urolophus paucimaculatus from four separate regions across south-eastern Australia found regional differences in maximum total length (TL), size-at-maturity, size-at-maternity, parturition seasonality, and litter sizes. Inshore embayment’s (Port Phillip Bay and Corner Inlet) appear to allow for larger TL (females and males) than offshore areas (Lakes Entrance and Western Bass Strait). Size-at-maturity and size-at-maternity decreased across longitude from west (PPB) to east (LE) and seasonality of parturition and ovulation occurred earlier in PPB (Aug–Oct) than in LE (Sep–Dec). Maximum litter size correlated with maximum TL (six in PPB, five in each of LE and CI, and four in WBS). There was uncertainty in classifying females for maternal condition as the reproductive cycle appears to range from a continuous annual cycle to a non-continuous biennial cycle. Much of the uncertainty arises from the ambiguity of observation of non-pregnant mature females, which have either aborted through capture and handling, or are in a ‘resting year’ between pregnancies. Most likely the majority are reproducing annually with an unknown proportion of females non-continuous and resting between pregnancies.

MF13275  Accepted 11 January 2014
 
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