Marine Biology

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 77–83 | Cite as

Reproduction and population dynamics of the fissiparous brittle star Ophiactis savignyi (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)

  • S.-M. Chao
  • C.-C. Tsai


Reproductive cycle, asexual reproduction, and population dynamics of the fissiparous brittle star, Ophiactis savignyi, which inhabits the exhalant passages of the sponge Haliclona sp. were examined monthly from February 1991 to January 1992 at Wanlitung, southern Taiwan (22°N; 120°E). Mature gametes were found from March to December, but release was mainly in May and June. Sexual recruits were found from May to December, with the highest frequency (14.1% of population) in June. Sexual recruits composed 2.4% of the 1-yr sample. Sex ratio of male to female was 24:1. Fission occurred throughout the year, although the frequency of recently split individuals was lower from January to June (6 to 31%), and higher from July to December (42 to 52%). The occurrence of fission was highest after spawning. Regenerating individuals composed 48.2% of the 1-yr sample. Population density fluctuated greatly during summer due to recruitment by fission and mortality or dispersal due to the stressful environmental conditions. Both sexual and asexual reproduction of O. savignyi were successful at this site.


Brittle Population Density Sponge Population Dynamic Reproductive Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.-M. Chao
    • 1
  • C.-C. Tsai
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Collection and ResearchNational Museum of Natural ScienceTaichungTaiwan Republic of China
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentTunghai UniversityTaichungTaiwan, Republic of China

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