Ecology and Reproductive Biology of Stichopus Variegatus an Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Sea Cucumber (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)
The ecology of the tropical Indo-Pacific aspidochirote holothurian Stichopus variegatus was studied from quadrat samplings carried throughout the lagoon and reef systems of New Caledonia. S. variegatus is a common species, characteristic of inner lagoon holothurian community, where its mean population density is around 50 individuals˙ha–1. Size distribution appears unimodal at a single station, but modes differ between stations, suggesting a downwards migration to deeper water during life. This iteroparous species spawns during the warm season. Average body length at first sexual maturity is 270 mm; the diameter of ripe oocytes is 180 μm and the absolute fecundity is around 10 × 103 oocytes. External tagging is inadequate for study of growth and mortality of this species. Compared with other tropical aspidochirotes of larger and smaller size, S. variegatus is a medium-size species showing intermediate values of the demographic parameters.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 May 1993
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