Marine Biology

, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 293–301 | Cite as

Ephemeral spawning aggregations in the Mediterranean sardine, Sardina pilchardus: a comparison with other multiple-spawning clupeoids

  • Konstantinos GaniasEmail author
Original Paper


Using previously published histological data on multiple, monthly samples of Sardina pilchardus collected in the central Aegean and Ionian Seas (September 1999–August 2000, and November 2000–February 2001), the Mediterranean sardine was treated as a case study to investigate the biological characteristics of ephemeral spawning aggregations in multiple-spawning clupeoids. Actively spawning (Day0) females in the Mediterranean sardine, i.e., the daily class of spawners caught a few hours prior, during, or after the spawning act, were shown to separate spatially from late (Day1+) spawners and non-spawning females, taking with them a large proportion of conspecific males which were also in advanced spawning condition and in better somatic condition compared to the remaining population. In addition, information from 28 stocks of multiple-spawning clupeoids from a wide range of geographic locations, belonging to 14 species and 2 families (Engraulidae and Clupeidae), was reviewed and analyzed pertinent to the formation of ephemeral spawning aggregations. Results from the latter analysis indicated similar patterns of spatial segregation of Day0 spawners in the reviewed clupeoid stocks as in the Mediterranean Sardine, which strongly suggested that the formation of ephemeral spawning aggregations is a common behavioral trait among multiple-spawning clupeoids.


Final Oocyte Maturation Sardina Pilchardus Postovulatory Follicle Day0 Spawner Clupeoid Fish 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was partially funded by an EU- DG XIV Study Project (Contract No. 98/039) coordinated by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR). Dr. S. Somarakis, and Dr. C. Papaconstantinou from the HCMR, and Dr. C. Koutsikopoulos from the University of Patras, Greece, are thanked for their collaboration. Special thanks are due to the coordinator of the project, Dr. A. Machias. Three anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

227_2008_1027_MOESM1_ESM.doc (28 kb)
Appendix 1a, 1b (DOC 28 kb)
227_2008_1027_MOESM2_ESM.doc (64 kb)
Appendix 2 (DOC 65 kb)
227_2008_1027_MOESM3_ESM.doc (155 kb)
Appendix 3 (DOC 155 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Ichthyology, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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