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Reproductive biology of two co-occurring mugilids, Liza argentea and Myxus elongatus, in south-eastern Australia

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The reproductive biology of Liza argentea and Myxus elongatus occurring in two estuaries (Lake Macquarie and St Georges Basin) was found to differ. Gonado-somatic index values and macroscopic staging of gonads identified the peak spawning period of L. argentea occurred between March and November in Lake Macquarie and January and April in St Georges Basin. In contrast, peak spawning of M. elongatus was concentrated between January and March in both estuaries. Spawning of L. argentea probably occurred in the lower reaches of estuaries as well as in nearshore coastal waters, whereas evidence indicated M. elongatus spawned only in ocean waters. The mean fork length at maturity (LF50) was greater for females than males in both species, and it also occurred at a larger mean LF in M. elongatus (males = 230 mm and females = 255 mm) than L. argentea (males = 180 mm and females = 207 mm). Estimates of total potential fecundity were also greater for M. elongatus (425 484–1 157 029) compared to L. argentea (159 933–548 954). Both species had determinate fecundity and displayed a group synchronous pattern of oocyte development, with two distinct size classes of oocytes present in mature ovaries. Liza argentea probably release the larger class of oocytes in one spawning event, but this could not be established for M. elongatus.

Keywords: Mugilidae; fecundity; maturity; mullet; oocyte; spawning

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, P. O. Box 21, Cronulla, NSW 2230, Australia

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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