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Volume 43 - Number 2 - 2008

Reproductive biology of the spotback skate, Atlantoraja castelnaui (Ribeiro, 1907) (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae), in southeastern Brazilian waters

María C. Oddone1, Alberto F. Amorim2 and Patricia L. Mancini3


1Secretaria Especial de Aqüicultura e Pesca da Presidência da República, Esplanada dos Ministérios,
Bloco D, 2º andar, Sala 238, CEP: 70.043-900, Brasília, DF
2Instituto de Pesca, Av. Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 192, Ponta da Praia, CEP: 11030-906, Santos, SP, Brazil
3Projeto Albatroz. Av. Rei Alberto I, N. 450, sala 5, Ponta da Praia, CEP: 11030-906, Santos, SP, Brazil



Specimens of Atlantoraja castelnaui were obtained from seven commercial fishing vessels operating in southeastern Brazilian waters, from March 2005 to April 2006. A total of 53 males, ranging from 17.9 to 111.0 cm in total length (TL), were examined. Based on analyses of the clasper gland and clasper length, testes weight, testicular lobes diameter and alar thorns, size at maturity was estimated to be 91.0 cm TL. Fifty-four females were examined ranging from 17.4 to 116.0 cm TL. According to observations of uterus width, oviducal gland width, ovary weight and diameter of the largest vitellogenic follicle, size at maturity was estimated as 105.0 cm TL. Vitellogenesis would start when follicles attain a diameter of 1.0 cm, and ovulation when attaining 3.0 cm of diameter. The maximum number of vitellogenic follicles of this species was 20. In spite of the fact that A. castelnaui is an oviparous species, and therefore, with a relatively high fecundity when compared with other elasmobranchs, its big size makes it an extremely vulnerable species to fishery pressure, being even already considered as an endangered one. Because of that, the knowledge of its reproductive parameters will lead to an adequate management of the stocks


Key words: Egg-bearing females, elasmobranchs, size at maturity, vitellogenic follicle, clasper




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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