Reproduction and Development in Epipelagic Fishes

Bruce B. Collette

in Reproduction and Sexuality in Marine Fishes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264335
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947979 | DOI:
Reproduction and Development in Epipelagic Fishes

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Oceanic epipelagic fishes live most or all of their lives in blue water environments, far from continental coasts. Many oceanic epipelagic species are of major commercial importance and provide a significant proportion of harvested fish biomass. However, the inaccessibility of their environment has made studies of their biology—and in particular their reproductive biology—extremely difficult. This chapter focuses on the reproduction and development of oceanic epipelagic fishes. It describes four orders of true oceanic epipelagic fishes: Lampriformes (Lampridae, opahs), Beloniformes, three suborders of the Perciformes (Xiphioidei, Percoidei, and Scombroidei); and Tetraodontiformes (Molidae, ocean sunfishes). The chapter examines selected species in terms of distribution; maximum size; all-tackle game fish record; longevity; sexual dimorphism; size at first maturity; spawning location, season, and temperature; migrations; breeding habits; fecundity; egg characteristics; and sources of larval illustrations, followed by comments on fishery importance and threat status of the species using the Red List categories of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Keywords: Lampriformes; epipelagic fishes; reproduction; reproductive biology; Beloniformes; Perciformes; Tetraodontiformes; sexual dimorphism; fecundity

Chapter.  18189 words. 

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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