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Reproductive biology of the brown smoothhound shark Mustelus henlei, in the northern Gulf of California, México

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Female brown smoothhound sharks Mustelus henlei were found to reproduce annually. A mature female carried both developing oocytes in the ovary and developing embryos in the uteri concurrently for c. 1 year. A great variability in the size of embryos was recorded each month, and the maximum embryo sizes were found from late January to mid-March. The largest oocytes in mature females were observed in mid-March. Gestation lasted c. 10 months. A linear relationship between maternal total length (LT) and the number of pups per litter (litter size one to 21) was estimated. Birth LT was reached in c. 280 mm. Females and males matured at 570–660 and 550–560 mm LT, respectively. Difference in the litter size among Californian coast (one to 10) and northern Gulf of California (one to 21) populations existed for this smoothhound shark.

Keywords: Mustelus henlei; reproductive cycle; size at maturity

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.01939.x

Affiliations: Departamento de Oceanografía Biológica, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Km. 107, Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada, B. C., México. CP 22860

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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