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Free Content Ecology and Reproductive Biology of Stichopus Variegatus an Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Sea Cucumber (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)

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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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  • 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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