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Early life history of Syngnathus abaster

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The embryonic and larval development of the pipefish Syngnathus abaster is described, based on ex situ observations. The full development sequence lasted 24–32 days (at 18–19° C), which was shortened to 21 days at higher temperatures (21–22° C). Newborn juveniles, with a uniform dark brown colouration, immediately assumed a benthic spatial distribution. This vertical distribution pattern remained unchanged at least during the first 4 weeks, after the release from the marsupium. The apparent absence of a pelagic life phase might have important repercussions in terms of population connectivity given increasing fragmentation and degradation of the eelgrass habitat in the species’ range.

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2006.00878.x

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Zoologia e Antropologia da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Praça Gomes Teixeira, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal, 2: ISPA, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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