, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 151-159

Aspects of Reproductive Biology of the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna Lewini, off Northeastern Brazil

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Abstract

Ninety four scalloped hammerhead sharks, Sphyrna lewini (53 females and 41 males) ranging in size from 121 to 321 cm total length (TL), were collected from surface gillnetters operating off northeastern Brazil and throughout the southwestern equatorial Atlantic Ocean between January and December 1996. A common regression for TL and eviscerated weight (EW) was calculated as, log EW = −11.786 + 2.889 log TL. Females and males were categorised into reproductive stages (4 and 2, respectively) according to morphological changes in their gonads. Size at sexual maturity for females was estimated to be 240 cm, while males appeared to mature at between 180 and 200 cm. Gravid females had between 2 and 21 embryos or pups, varying in TL from 3 to 38 cm. There was no relationship between maternal length and size of litter. Copulation and parturition appear to occur outside the sampled area and possibly closer to the coast. With the exception of slightly lower uterine and ovarian fecundities, the results support the few existing data on the reproductive cycle of S. lewini in other areas.