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Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2008

Reproductive biology of Rhinobatos percellens (Walbaum, 1792) (Batoidea: Rajiformes) from the Colombian Caribbean

Marcela Grijalba-Bendeck1, Arturo Acero P.2 y Esperanza González1


1Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Programa de Biología Marina, Santa Marta, Colombia
2Universidad Nacional de Colombia, (Instituto de Ciencias Naturales), CECIMAR/ INVEMAR, Cerro Punta Betín, Santa Marta, Colombia



The reproductive condition of 172 guitarfish Rhinobatos percellens was evaluated in animals incidentally captured in the captures of chinchorro playero between August 2005 and October 2006 at Salguero beach on Santa Marta, Colombia. To understand the reproductive cycle and how it is influenced by the environmental conditions, the reproductive systems were described. The guitarfish is a viviparous matrotrophic ray, with compound ovaries. Four ovarian developmental stages and nine espermatogenic phases of compound testis were observed. The vitellogenetic development was simultaneous to embryonic growth, with an active reproductive (matting, births, gestation) period between October and April, and a reduction in activity from May to September when embryos stop their growth. North hemisphere rhinobatids show an inverse cycle. Guitarfish females produced between two and four embryos with a gestation period of ten months from April to December; maternal size did not have any relation with embryo length and number. Biological indexes (gonadosomatic, hepatosomatic and condition factor) did not show clear time tendencies in relation to reproductive dynamics; they must be analyzed altogether with environmental condition and food availability.


Key words: Rhinobatidae, guitarfish, bioecology, gonadal structure, Colombia



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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