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Free Content Age, Growth, Reproduction, and the Feeding Ecology of Black Sea Bass, Centropristis Striata (Pisces: Serranidae), in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico

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Aspects of life history and feeding ecology are described for black sea bass, Centropristis striata, collected from the eastern Gulf of Mexico primarily between December 1966 and December 1967. Marginal increment analysis suggests that bands on sagittae are deposited once a year during the late spring to early summer. Mean empirical standard lengths ranged from 106 mm at age 0 to 278 mm at age VII. Estimates of parameters for a von Bertalanffy growth equation were calculated for males (L = 265 mm, k = 0.29, to = –1.28), for females (L = 218 mm, k = 0.36, to = –1.31), and for all aged fish (L = 311 mm, k = 0.16, to = –2.00). Mean length at age was greater for males than for females. Black sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites, with females outnumbering males by 1.5:1 in our samples. Females became mature between ages I and III (120–190 mm SL). No females were older than age VI. Most transitional fish were between ages II and IV (160–230 mm SL). Males were present at all ages, and mature males were 90–330 mm SL. Histological analysis of gonads suggested that spawning occurs from December to April. Forty-two prey species and 44 additional diet items identified to higher taxonomic categories were found in stomach contents. Amphipods, stomatopods, shrimps, crabs, and fishes were numerically the most common prey species. Caridean shrimp, penaeid shrimp, and xanthid crabs were the dominant prey items for inshore black sea bass, whereas majid crabs, stomatopods, and fishes dominated the diet of offshore fish.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-01-01

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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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