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Free Content Sexual Reproduction of the Tropical Sea Cucumber, Actinopyga Mauritiana (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea), in Guam

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The reproductive biology of the aspidochirote holothurian Actinopyga mauritiana was studied through 1988 and 1989. A gonadal index (gonad wt/drained body wt) was the best measure of reproductive readiness, reaching peaks of up to 23% in spring and summer months, with peaks occurring at slightly different times in the 2-yr study. Well developed oocytes and sperm were present in many individuals from each sampling period. Spawned oocytes ranged from 110–135 μm in diameter. Estimates of absolute fecundity ranged from 26.27 × 106 to 40.98 × 106 oocytes for gravid females, agreeing with data for this species in New Caledonia. Reproductive periodicity, as correlated with ambient ocean temperature, was similar to the spring/summer spawning reported for this species in New Caledonia, despite greater seasonal fluctuations in temperature and photoperiod at that location. This suggests that if temperature and/or photoperiod are important factors in reproductive timing, they work in an absolute (threshold) fashion rather than in a relative one. Temporal differences in reproductive peaks between years coincided with a La Niña event.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1998

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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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