Spawning Behavior in the Labrid, Halichoeres Bivittatus, on Artificial and Natural Substrates in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, with Notes on Early Life History
We documented reproductive activity in Halichoeres bivittatus close to the northernmost range of its distribution in the western Atlantic. Observations were made by means of Scuba at a mean depth of 15 m on a reef system consisting of a 10-train car artificial reef and adjacent limestone substrate. The train cars were deployed in 1986 on substrate ranging from limestone colonized by macroalgae to a thin layer of sand over hard substrate. Spawning behavior consisted of the formation of temporary territories defended by terminal phase males. Peak reproductive activity occurred at midday during the months of May and June at temperatures of 21.5–24.5°C. Pair spawning between an initial phase female and a terminal phase male was observed on artificial and natural reef substrata, but interference spawning by small initial phase individuals was observed only on the natural substrate. This difference in reproductive strategy may be due to the ability of small initial phase males to interfere with pair spawnings only on substrates lacking much vertical relief (<0.5 m) and providing macroalgal cover. Fertilized eggs were obtained by artificial fertilization in the laboratory. Eggs and larvae were reared in tanks and development up to 5 days after fertilization is briefly described.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1994-09-01
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