Biology of Two Exploited Species of Halfbeaks, Hemiramphus Brasiliensis and H. Balao from Southeast Florida
The biology and life history of two common species of halfbeaks, Hemiramphus brasiliensis and H. balao, were investigated from January 1974 through July 1976, principally from specimens obtained by Dade County, Florida commercial fishermen. H. brasiliensis constituted approximately 90% of the Dade County commercial catch. Age and growth, survival rate, fecundity, size at maturity, spawning seasons, food habits, and early life history were studied. Few H. brasiliensis exceeded 2 years of age while H. balao seldom exceeded 1 year. Both species had similar growth rates, the mean fork lengths at annulus I were 216.1 mm for H. brasiliensis and 209.0 mm for H. balao in 1974. The mean length of H. brasiliensis in 1975 was 230.6 mm at annulus I, which was significantly longer than in 1974. The annual survival rate of H. brasiliensis was 14% for fish between 1 and 2 years of age. Both species matured in their first year and spawned during spring and summer. Mean fecundity of H. brasiliensis was 1476 while that of H. balao was 4949. Larvae were well-developed at hatching and, in the laboratory, grew 1.17 mm per day for the first 27 days. Larval H. brasiliensis ate zooplankton. Juvenile and adult H. brasiliensis ate both seagrass and zooplankton, but H. balao ate only zooplankton.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 1978
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