Journal Article

Reproductive ecology and abundance of the sand tiger shark, <i>Carcharias taurus</i>, from the southwestern Atlantic

Luis O. Lucifora, Roberto C. Menni and Alicia H. Escalante

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue 3, pages 553-561
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmsc.2002.1183
Reproductive ecology and abundance of the sand tiger shark, Carcharias taurus, from the southwestern Atlantic

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This study analyses the sexual activity and segregation of sand tiger sharks, Carcharias taurus, from Anegada Bay (Argentina). Reproduction-linked movements along the South American Atlantic coast were inferred from data from several SW Atlantic localities. Male sand tigers (n=162) matured at 193 cm total length (LT). Females (n=77) matured between 218 and 235 cm LT. These figures are similar to those from other populations, although size-at-maturity of males was slightly different from South African and Australian populations. In females, the size of ovarian follicles was positively correlated with gonadosomatic index and negatively correlated with hepatosomatic index, while the liver was significantly larger than in males. Sand tiger sharks were present in Anegada Bay from December to April. Males were significantly more abundant than females (2:1). Significant differences in reproductive condition through time were observed in males. During January and February males had seminal vesicles full of spermatozeugmata but by March and April the vesicles were empty. As the proportion of males with a lighter colouration peaked from January to March, it is very likely that mating takes place during January and February. The skewed sex-ratio during the mating season indicates a possible strong competition for mates among males, as observed in captivity. Males, females and some juveniles occur in Argentinean and Uruguayan waters, where mating takes place. Pregnant females occur in subtropical waters of southern Brazil, where they give birth. Given that pregnant and non-pregnant females occur at the same time in different zones, we suggest that the female reproductive cycle is biennial. Striking differences among migratory patterns of sand tiger sharks from the SW and NW Atlantic and South Africa were observed. Copyright 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Chondrichthyes; Elasmobranchii; South America; life history; mating; seasonal movements; recreational fisheries

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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