Ingress and Settlement in the Nassau Grouper, Epinephelus striatus (Pisces: Serranidae), with Relationship to Spawning Occurrence
Ingressing pelagic juvenile Epinephelus striatus were collected in a tidal channel at Lee Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas during both January 1989 and 1990, starting 37 days after the December full moon. They subsequently recruited for only about 1 week, generally at night on incoming tides with maximal densities of 1 fish per 1000–3000 m3 water. Otolith increment back dating to spawning dates of pelagic and benthic juvenile E. striatus in the Exumas indicated nearly all spawning dates were near the full moon of December. Spawning at an unknown site in Exuma Sound, believed to be the source of recruits collected, may have occurred only during December or alternately no recruits may have sunived from a January spawning in Exuma Sound. Increment formation in benthic juveniles, verified by capture and hold experiments, indicate a larval life length of 37–45 days (mean = 41.6). Recently-settled E. striatus were found on artificial reef substrates (cement blocks and conch shells), natural reefs and rubble mounds produced by Malacanthus plumieri. Benthic juvenile E. striatus appeared on artificial reefs shortly after first collection of pelagic juveniles.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 1997
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