Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 2091–2098 | Cite as

Reproductive biology and population structure of the sea cucumber Isostichopus fuscus (Ludwig, 1875) (Holothuroidea) in Caamaño, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

  • M. Verónica Toral-GrandaEmail author
  • Priscilla C. Martínez
Research Article


Pre-spawning reproductive biology and population structure of the sea cucumber Isostichopus fuscus were analysed at the Caamaño Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador on a monthly basis between January 1995 and June 1996. An average of 25 individuals of all sizes were collected each month. Using microscopic characteristics of the gonads three gonadal stages were described: (1) immature; (2) mature, and (3) spent. Mature individuals showed statistically different morphometric characteristics. I. fuscus was continuously sexually mature throughout the year independent of changes in sea water temperature. Mean oocyte diameter indicated planktotrophic larval development. Mean fecundity for this species was 567,884 (±95,528 SE) eggs per gonad. Size at first maturity was between 161.0 and 170.9 g drained weight and the smallest individual found with mature gonads had a drained weight between 121.0 and 130.9 g. The population sampled ranged between 13 and 31 cm (81.0–400.0 g) with less than 10% of the population of individuals ≥25 cm (≥300.0 g). No juveniles were recorded.


Ecuador Gonad Index Oocyte Diameter Mature Gonad Reproductive Peak 
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.



Funds for this study were provided by the United Nations Development Program through the Charles Darwin Research Station. Additional thanks to the Galápagos National Park Service for providing research permits. Graciela Monsalve, Jimmy Peñaherrera, Jorge Gomezjurado, Rodrigo H. Bustamante, Fernando Rivera and Juan Carlos Ricaurte provided help with field work. S.A. Shepherd and S. Uthicke provided guidance and support while preparing this manuscript. Two anonymous referees provided additional input to improve the document. The preparation of this manuscript was carried out within the framework of INCOFISH Workpackage 7 regarding the development of sustainability indicators. This is Charles Darwin Foundation Contribution Number 1052.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Verónica Toral-Granda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Priscilla C. Martínez
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Charles Darwin FoundationQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Zoology DepartmentThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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