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Ichthyological Research

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 269–280 | Cite as

Reproductive and sexual characteristics in five Lethrinus species in waters off the Ryukyu Islands

  • Akihiko EbisawaEmail author
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Abstract

Gonads of five lethrinids, viz., Lethrinus harak, L. miniatus, L. obsoletus, L. ornatus, and L. sp. 2, were collected monthly in waters off the Ryukyu Islands and observed histologically to reveal their spawning periods and size at sexual maturation and sexual transition. The spawning period was from April to November for L. harak, from April to July for L. miniatus, from April to October for L. obsoletus, from May to November for L. ornatus, and from April to October for L. sp. 2. Sexual patterns in the five species were determined by fork length at both sexual maturation and sexual transition. The body size (fork length, FL) and sex ratio (% of female) at 90% maturity in L. harak were 21.1 cm FL and 90%, respectively; those of L. miniatus were 42.2 cm FL and 80%; 25.7 cm FL and 60% for L. obsoletus; about 20 cm FL and 90% for L. ornatus; and about 26 cm FL and 90% for L. sp. 2. Because the sex ratios decreased to 0% at the maximum size classes in L. miniatus, L. ornatus, and L. sp. 2, the sexual patterns in these species were considered to be protogynous hermaphrodite. Although the sex ratio (% of female) once decreased to about 30% at 28 cm FL, rapid increase occurred in the larger size class in L. harak. However, the increase did not result from sexual transition. Hence, the sexual pattern of L. harak was considered to be protogynous hermaphrodite. Because the sex ratio (% of female) at body sizes larger than 23 cm FL was stable at about 60% in L. obsoletus, the sexual pattern was determined to be one of juvenile hermaphrodites.

Key words

Lethrinus Spawning season Sexual maturation Sex change Protogynous hermaphroditism 

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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Okinawa Prefectural Fisheries and Ocean Research CenterOkinawaJapan

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