Age, growth, and latitudinal patterns of two Rajidae species in the northwestern Atlantic: little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) and winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata)

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Vertebral samples of little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) and winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata) were collected from Cape Hatteras, USA, to Canadian waters to estimate age, growth, and length at weight relationships for both species throughout this range. Maximum observed age was 12.5 and 20.5 years for little skate and winter skate, respectively. Significant length at weight relationships were found for both species. von Bertalanffy growth curves for the northwestern Atlantic were estimated for little skate (k = 0.19, L = 56.1 cm, t0 = –1.17, p < 0.0001, n = 236) and winter skate (k = 0.07, L = 122.1 cm, t0 = –2.07, p < 0.0001, n = 229). Additionally, latitudinal patterns in size and growth were observed in little skate, with individuals in northern regions growing slower and reaching a larger asymptotic size: von Bertalanffy growth estimates (mid-Atlantic, k = 0.22, L = 53.26 cm, t0 = –1.04, p < 0.0001; southern New England – Georges Bank, k = 0.20, L = 54.34 cm, t0 = –1.22, p < 0.0001; Gulf of Maine, k = 0.18, L = 59.31 cm, t0 = –1.15, p < 0.0001). Although differences were observed for sex-specific growth curves for both species, only winter skate curves were significantly different.

Nous avons prélevé des échantillons de vertèbres chez la raie hérisson (Leucoraja erinacea) et la raie tachetée (Leucoraja ocellata) depuis le cap Hatteras, É.-U., jusque dans les eaux canadiennes afin d'estimer l'âge, la croissance et les relations de la longueur en fonction de la masse chez les deux espèces dans cette aire de répartition. L'âge maximal observé est de 12,5 ans chez la raie hérisson et de 20,5 ans chez la raie tachetée. Il existe des relations significatives de la longueur en fonction de la masse chez les deux espèces. Nous avons estimé les courbes de croissance de von Bertalanffy pour la raie hérisson (k = 0,19, L = 56,1 cm, t0 = –1,17, p < 0,0001, n = 236) et pour la raie tachetée (k = 0,07, L = 122,1 cm, t0 = –2,07, p < 0,0001, n = 229) dans le nord-ouest de l'Atlantique. De plus, nous avons observé des patrons latitudinaux de taille et de croissance chez la raie hérisson; en effet, les individus des régions nordiques croissent plus lentement et atteignent une taille plus grande à l'asymptote (Atlantique moyen, k = 0,22, L = 53,26 cm, t0 = –1,04, p < 0,0001; sud de la Nouvelle Angleterre et banc Georges, k = 0,20, L = 54,34 cm, t0 = –1,22, p < 0,0001; golfe du Maine, k = 0,18, L = 59,31 cm, t0 = –1,15, p < 0,0001). Bien que des différences aient été observées entre les courbes de croissance spécifiques à chaque sexe chez les deux espèces, seules les différences entre les courbes de la raie tachetée sont significatives.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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