Maturation of the night shark, Carcharhinus signatus, in the southwestern equatorial Atlantic Ocean
Abstract:Over 700 night sharks, Carcharhinus signatus, comprising 327 females and 417 males were collected from semi-pelagic longliners operating throughout the south-western equatorial Atlantic between October 1992 and May 1997. Analysis of various morphometric relationships showed significant differences between males and females for regressions of precaudal length (PL) and interdorsal space (IS) and for total weight (TW) and evicerated weight (EW) and headless finned and evicerated weight (HW). A common log EW/log TL regression was calculated for both sexes: log EW = −12.03 + 2.93 log TL. Females and males were categorized into maturation stages (5 and 3, respectively) according to morphological changes in their gonads. The majority of specimens were sexually immature. The size at sexual maturity for females was estimated at between 200 and 205 cm TL, while males matured at between 185 and 190 cm TL. A seasonal peak in male GSI during spring, combined with evidence of female ovulation shortly after suggests that copulation occurs in summer. Gravid females had between four and 15 pups varying in total length from 10 to 40 cm.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2000
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