Reproductive Biology of the Halfmoon Grouper, Epinephelus rivulatus, at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
- Cite this article as:
- Mackie, M. Environmental Biology of Fishes (2000) 57: 363. doi:10.1023/A:1007658027359
The reproductive biology and sexual pattern of Epinephelus rivulatus were examined within the waters of Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Population structure and gonad morphology show that E. rivulatus is a protogynous hermaphrodite. Mature females ranged in size from 144 to 350 mm fork length (FL), with 50% sexually mature at 194 mm FL. Males were larger than females and ranged in size from 221 to 381 mm FL. There were also intrasexual differences in body size and the median size at which sex-change occurred within each site. Sex ratios were consistent between sites with approximately one male to 5.5 mature females. Most female E. rivulatus (>50%) were reproductively active from July to December when water temperatures were relatively cool and daylight hours were increasing. During this time reproduction occurred periodically, and a female was capable of spawning at least twice over two or three consecutive days.