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Free Content Biology and distribution of species of Polyacanthonotus (Pisces: Notacanthiformes) in the western North Atlantic

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The notacanthid genus Polyacanthonotus is represented in the Atlantic by three species of demersal deep-sea fishes at depths from about 500–3,800 m. Recent collections have made available new material from the temperate and tropical western North Atlantic for life history study of P. merretti and P. rissoanus. Species of the genus are browsers on small benthic macrofauna including polychaetes, gammaridean amphipods, and mysids. Reproduction does not appear to be seasonal. Fecundity is positively correlated with size in P. merretti, and ranges between 1,900–5,700 ova. Fecundities are much higher (ca. 20,000–30,000 ova) in P. rissoanus and P. challengeri, which attain a larger size. Sex ratios appear highly skewed. Among western Atlantic material, males were found only in P. merretti, with a female : male sex ratio of 25:l. No "bigger-deeper" relationship was found in P. merretti or P. rissoanus. Despite overlapping geographic and bathymetric ranges, species of Poiyacanthonotus tend to be allopatric in distribution. The amphi-Atlantic P. merretti is predominantly tropical at bathyal depths (584–2,000 m). The circumglobal species P. challengeri is predominantly anti-tropical on the continental rise (1,302–3,753 m, mostly below 2,000 m). The Atlantic species P. rissoanus is also predominantly anti-tropical on the continental slope (500–2,875 m, mostly above 2,000 m).

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1985-03-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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