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Ichthyological Research

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Maturation and reproduction of Squalus cubensis and Squalus cf. quasimodo (Squalidae, Squaliformes) in the southern Caribbean Sea

  • Alejandro TagliaficoEmail author
  • Salomé Rangel
  • Matt K. Broadhurst
Full Paper

Abstract

Specimens of Squalus cubensis (n = 137; 38.5–67.3 cm total length–TL) and Squalus cf. quasimodo (n = 183; 41.1–93.2 cm TL) were opportunistically collected from the catches of artisanal gillnetters working in the southern Caribbean Sea off Venezuela between January 2006 and December 2007 and assessed for maturation and reproductive biology. Catches of each species comprised considerably more, and mostly larger, females (n = 124 and 174, for S. cubensis and S. cf. quasimodo, respectively) than males (n = 13 and 9). Based on changes to the reproductive organs, both species were partitioned into four maturation stages for females (juvenile, ovulating, gravid and post-partum) and two stages for males (juvenile and adult). Squalus cubensis and S. cf. quasimodo both were least represented by juveniles (n = 10 and 13, respectively) and most by ovulating females (n = 74 and 120, respectively). Formal assessments of 50% sizes at sexual maturity (± SE) were restricted to females, and were 44.5 ± 0.5 TL for S. cubensis and 59.9 ± 0.2 cm TL for S. cf. quasimodo. All sampled male S. cubensis were mature above 43.8 cm TL, while only one adult male S. cf. quasimodo (82.4 cm TL) was recorded. Gravid females of both species had each uteri functional with between one and five embryos—the numbers of which were not correlated to the TLs of the mothers. A common observation of gravid females for both species during many of the sampled months, and an absence of clear temporal progression in embryo size implied asynchronous reproduction, although the few post-partum individuals (n = 5 and 4 for S. cubensis and S. cf. quasimodo, respectively) were restricted to December. Because of their low reproductive output and apparent potential for exploitation, further life-history studies are warranted for both species.

Keywords

Artisanal fishery Chondrichthyes Deep-sea sharks Elasmobranch Dogfish sharks Venezuela 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are indebted to S. Viana (USP) for helping to identify Squalus cf. quasimodo. Néstor Rago (UNCR) is thanked for valuable help with the sampling, and the fishers and fish retailers from La Pared are thanked for their kind cooperation in allowing us to measure the specimens. We also acknowledge the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA) and A. Lárez (INIA) for helpful logistical assistance. This research complied with existing Venezuela laws. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro Tagliafico
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Salomé Rangel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matt K. Broadhurst
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Escuela de Ciencias Aplicadas del Mar, Núcleo de Nueva EspartaUniversidad de OrienteIsla de MargaritaVenezuela
  2. 2.National Marine Science CentreSouthern Cross UniversityCoffs HarbourAustralia
  3. 3.NSW Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries Conservation Technology UnitCoffs HarbourAustralia
  4. 4.Marine and Estuarine Ecology Unit, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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