Reproductive biology of Vinciguerria nimbaria in the equatorial waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean
Adult Vinciguerria nimbaria in an area of the Atlantic Ocean (0–5°N; 10–20°W), collected from November 1994 to February 1998, exhibited two different patterns in diel behaviour: ‘typical’ behaviour which consisted of large diel vertical migration and ‘atypical’, characterized by concentrations of schools that remained in the surface layers during the daytime. The total life span of V. nimbaria was estimated at 6–7 months. Females were mature when they reached 30·6 mm standard length (LS), which corresponded to an age of 85 days. Once the females were mature, spawning was continuous in the population as a whole, and V. nimbaria spawned continuously throughout the year. Spawning took place during two restricted times of the day: typical females spawned at dusk and atypical females spawned at dawn. Using the post-ovulatory follicles method, spawning frequency was estimated at 2 days. Batch fecundity was estimated at 1236 oocytes or 1230 oocytes g−1 of total body mass, and egg size was 650 µm whatever the period of the year. The lifetime fecundity of V. nimbaria was estimated at 9000 eggs (109 000 eggs if mortality rate was not taken into account), and the maximum stock egg production of a theoretical cohort occurred at 37 mm LS. Young adults thus contributed the most to the reproductive output for the survival of the population.
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