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Preliminary observations of spawning behavior of white-streaked grouper (Epinephelus ongus) in an Okinawan coral reef

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Abstract

Epinephelus ongus forms spawning aggregations at specific reef sites at Okinawa. The aim of the present study was to describe the spawning behavior of E. ongus based upon underwater video imagery. Epinephelus ongus spawning is usually paired with courting males and females rushing upwards towards the surface during the spawning ascent, with a subsequent release of eggs at the apex of the ascent. In two of four spawning events we observed, however, the ascending pair was joined by additional males. Fish eggs collected at the site were identified as those of E. ongus and confirmed that this species spawns mainly at night during a slack tide. This study is the first documentation of E. ongus spawning behavior in the field.

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Acknowledgments

We express our thanks to K. Kinjo for his assistance in the field especially for sharing his knowledge of the spawning site and for piloting the research boat. We thank also K. Teruya and K. Fukuoka for their assistance, and the staff of Research Center of Sub-tropical Fisheries, Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, for support during the present study. Constructive comments of the manuscript from C. P. Norman were much appreciated. The present study complies with current laws in Japan.

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Correspondence to Atsushi Nanami.

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Nanami, A., Sato, T., Ohta, I. et al. Preliminary observations of spawning behavior of white-streaked grouper (Epinephelus ongus) in an Okinawan coral reef. Ichthyol Res 60, 380–385 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-013-0354-y

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Keywords

  • Spawning behavior
  • Spawning aggregation
  • Epinephelus ongus
  • Spawning ground
  • Current velocity