Gonad and pyloric caeca production in the nine-armed starfish Luidia senegalensis off the southwest Florida Gulf coast during the annual reproductive cycle
Production of the different body compartments during an annual reproductive cycle was measured in a population of Luidia senegalensis. In 1993, the maximal gonad indexes occurred in the fall (4.6 in males, 4.3 in females) preceding spawning. The pyloric caeca index peaked in the summer (July) at 7.7 and declined through early fall (September) as the gonad index increased. The following spring both caecal and gonadal indexes increased together and the pyloric caeca index reached a maximum value of 8.9 in June 1994. The higher caecal and gonadal indexes in 1994 suggests that environmental conditions, probably a greater food abundance, were more favorable than in 1993. The proximate composition of body compartments showed some similarities to that of the closely related five-armed starfish, Luidia clathrata. In both species concentrations of soluble protein and lipid were higher than carbohydrate when the pyloric caeca were largest. At the peak of the gonad index, the concentration of lipid and soluble protein in the gonads was higher in L. clathrata than in L. senegalensis. The annual increase in production in relation to body size was lower in L. senegalensis (8-fold increase in the pyloric caeca index, 4-fold in the gonad index) than in L. clathrata (10-fold increase in the pyloric caeca index, 13-fold in the gonad index).
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1999-07-01
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