, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp 317-326

Duration of the planktonic larval stage of one hundred species of Pacific and Atlantic wrasses (family Labridae)

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The planktonic larval durations of a preliminary sample of one hundred species of wrasses from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans were estimated with the use of the daily otolith-increment aging-technique. Larval durations were determined by counting the number of daily increments between the center of the otolith and the mark corresponding to settlement. The duration of the planktonic larval phase of wrasses appears to be extremely variable between species, ranging from 15 d in Diproctacanthus xanthurus to 121 d in a specimen of Thalassoma ballieui. Larval durations within species were also variable, especially in species with relatively long durations. Congeners tended to have similar larval durations and similar otolith-increment characteristics. Hawaiian and Eastern Pacific species had longer larval durations than their Caribbean or Western Pacific congeners. Similarly, Hawaiian populations had significantly longer larval durations than their Western Pacific conspecifics. The implications of these findings for biogeographical studies are discussed.

Communicated by R. S. Carney, Moss Landing