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