Sexual and asexual reproduction of Coscinasterias tenuispina (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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An intertidal population of the fissiparous sea star Coscinasterias tenuispina (Lamarck, 1816) was sampled over a 1 year period at Ponta de Itaipu, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. Gonadal indices revealed an annual reproductive cycle. Spawning occurred in the late winter and early spring between August and November. Pyloric caecal indices did not show a clear annual cycle or a reciprocal relationship with gonadal indices. The population appears to be sustained only by fission, as only males were found. Fission occurred throughout the year, but was most frequent in the winter (July, August and September). Incidence of fission was correlated with the occurrence of the extremely low tides during daytime that exposes many specimens to air. Austral winter tides are low by day and high by night, while the austral summer tides are low by night and high by day. The most extreme annual deviation in seawater temperature is about 5°C. Larval recruitment seems to be negligible, since very small individuals were not found.
KeywordsAnnual Cycle Early Spring Reproductive Cycle Reciprocal Relationship Asexual Reproduction
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